Local food banks facing shortage of food, surging demand amid record-high inflation

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Local food banks are facing a shortage of food and surging demand amid record-high inflation.

The rise in food, gas and housing prices are driving people to food banks in search of relief.

A local emergency food pantry, Bay View Community Center in Milwaukee, is among those offering relief, but they too are facing difficult times.

"We haven't had access to eggs in several months, our connection to milk is going to be drying up," said Chad Vandierendonck, coordinator of the Bay View Community Center.

Vandierendonck says the community center has seen an increase in guests by nearly 15% in the month of June, servicing 797 individuals.

Vandierendonck says that's the highest number of people they have served since the start of the pandemic.

Boxes are pre-made for guests of the pantry, with items like pasta, peanut butter, cereal, and more -- but Vandierendonck says these ingredients can't sustain a full meal.

"There are definitely some things I would like to be able to include in here," said Vandierendonck.

Beyond popular items like meat, eggs and dairy, families are also battling inflation rates of household items -- paper towels, soap, tissue, etc.

Vandierendonck says, "Everything costs more right now and that's definitely hitting people in the pantries."

Federal funding, once allocated by the government at the height of the pandemic, is running out, leaving families with fewer options.

"Covid money is drying up, so whatever extra benefits people had through the pandemic, those are leaving now, and that just puts an extra burden on families that are just looking to eat." Vandierendonck explains.

With the help of partners like the Hunger Task Force, Vandierendonck says they are able to keep their mission alive.

"Make sure hunger is no longer in our community we have done a really good thing."

Bay View Community Center serves more than 1,800 households in four different ZIP codes and is always looking for more volunteers.

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