COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Dozens of food pantries in our area are about to face a major financial pinch. Now, many pantry leaders fear they’ll have to turn away people who rely on them.
Diance McFadzean’s problems are starting to pile higher than the cans inside her pantry, Feeding Families Ministry.
“It’s very scary,” she says.
McFadzean fears, starting January 1st, she will struggle feeding everyone who relies on her pantry.
The pantry’s food supplier, Second Harvest Food Bank in Nazareth, will charge 5 cents per pound as a handling fee. Second Harvest’s Director, Paul Lynch, says as his organization expands, so do costs.
“We distributed 9 million pounds of food. And that takes volunteers as well as staff. Forklift operators, gas,” Lynch explains.
Second Harvest collects donated food then supplies 40 pantries across Monroe, Wayne, Pike, and Carbon Counties. In return, those pantries pay a $30 dollar shipping fee per truck load.
That $30 dollars is about to turn into $500 dollars per truck for McFadzean.
To compensate for the fee, Feeding Families may have to purchase lighter items. For example, cereal is more cost effective than meat, which weights a lot when frozen.
“When you add it up and your looking at 10 thousand pounds twice a month, it does add up,” said McFadzean.
McFadzean fears she’ll have to cut off needy families and limit distribution days. She hopes the organizations starving for funds will still be able to help those in the community starving for food. To do that, they’ll need more help from the communities they serve.
Feeding Families is hoping new partnerships and fundraising efforts can keep them afloat.
Second Harvest, on the other hand, says they’re financially working with the pantries they serve.