Food Bank Sees Increased Need As Charity Sources Evaporate

Published: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 2:51pm
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St Mary’s Food Bank expected another day of skyrocketing need on Tuesday, but two of the food bank’s key sources of charity have gone dry as fallout continues from the coronavirus pandemic.

Roughly 20% of what St Mary’s gives away comes from grocery stores, said Jerry Brown, director of public relations.

“It’s about nine semi trucks full of food that we pick up on a weekly basis from grocery stores,” he said.

But panicked shoppers leaving shelves empty means stores don’t have anything left to give.

On top of that, Brown said dozens of monthly food drives aren’t happening. 

“All of those have been canceled, delayed or postponed,” he said. 

Since March 16, St. Mary’s has been helping more than double the daily number of people it normally saw at the main location, Browns said.

The increased need is being driven by people who were living paycheck to paycheck.   

“This is broad based. And going across so many different folks. So many different jobs. So many careers. So many different companies and businesses,” Brown said.

Need is especially great among people who worked service industry jobs, Brown said. Missing pay has meant they have to pay bills like rent or or their car loan before thinking about food.

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