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Food Banks

US Food Banks Struggle To Feed Hungry Amid Surging Prices

Oakland, CA — U.S. food banks already dealing with increased demand from families sidelined by the pandemic now face a new challenge — surging food prices and supply chain issues walloping the nation. The higher costs and limited availability mean some families may get smaller servings or substitutions for staples such as peanut butter, which costs nearly double what it did a year ago. As holidays approach, some food banks worry they won’t have enough stuffing and cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and Christmas. “What happens when food prices go up is food insecurity for those who are experiencing it just gets worse,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that coordinates the efforts of more than 200 food banks across the country.

A French McDonald’s Is Now A Food Bank After Staff Resisted Shutdown

At one McDonald's in Marseille, France, everyone eats for free. Locals don't pay a dime — or euro — for food there because the location is now a food bank. The restaurant originally opened with government backing in 1992 in a majority-Muslim neighborhood grappling with poverty and eventually employed 77 people, according to Vice. One of them was manager Kamel Guemari, who had been working there for more than 20 years since starting as a 16-year-old, according to NPR. The location was one of six franchises that frequently changed hands. In 2018, its franchiser said he would sell his five other locations to a fellow McDonald's franchiser. This particular store, however, would be sold on its own and turned into a halal restaurant, NPR reports.

‘This Is Not What A Food Bank Was Designed To Do’

“You have so many people that have been displaced from work, you have so many single moms with children at home, and you have so many isolated seniors, that the demand for services has just gone through the roof,” Blake Young, the organization’s president and CEO for 15 years, said. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the organization served approximately 150,000 people each month. In April and May, that number went up to more than 300,000 people. But the worst may be yet to come, thanks to the ongoing recession. Regional food banks, which are designed to be safety nets, not main sources of food, fear that they won’t be able to meet the swelling need.
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