NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Inflation is impacting local food banks in Hampton Roads.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore helps feed families from Western Tidewater, the Southside cities, and all throughout Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

But recently, some of their warehouse shelves have been looking a little bare due to a decrease in donations and supply chain issues.

“A lot of basic items like spaghetti, pasta sauce, peanut butter, rice — things we had plenty of — we’ve had a difficult time getting on our hands,” said David Brandt, the senior communications manager for the organization.

The food bank works with community partners to provide food and Brandt says they’re seeing a higher need among residents.

“Right now, they’re looking at serving 30% more people than at the height of the COVID pandemic,” he said about one Virginia Beach church. “These are serious numbers. There’s a lot of people who were just getting by before but with rising food prices, they’re being pushed to being food insecure. It’s tough.”

The supply chain issue is also pushing back how long it normally takes them to get food into the warehouse.

Brandt says what once took weeks, now takes now months.

“If we don’t get our orders in for turkeys right now, we won’t have any for Thanksgiving. We’re looking at crazy prices like $1.82 to $2.12 per pound,” he said.

The supply chain issue is also impacting the donations they’d normally receive from food distributors and manufacturers, who Brandt says are also having a hard time keeping items on the shelves.

“We used to get more donations that we’re being forced to purchase. We’re out on the open market trying to compete with everyone else to get these items,” he said. “Last year, two fiscal years ago, we were spending $1 million a year. This year, which wraps up in June, we’re trending toward $5 million.”

Brandt says that’s why they’re also asking for monetary donations as well as food.

Their top items needed are

  • Boxed cereal
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Canned fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Pancake mix
  • Peanut butter
  • Mac & cheese
  • Canned vegetable.

You can help donate on Saturday, May 14 through their “Stamp Out Hunger” event by placing these items bagged by your mailbox where a postal worker will collect them.

“If you leave some food out on your stoop, they’ll drop off your mail, pick up your donations, and bring it to people who need it,” Brandt said.

If you would like to donate money, you can click here.