Guilford Food Bank Sees Rise In Pantry Visits
My name is Lori Wells. As an employee of Guilford Interfaith Ministries, it is my job to report statistics to Guilford Social Service as well as the CT food Bank. I was surprised to see a 6.6% increase in client visits in our first quarter.
GIM co-coordinates the Guilford Food Bank with GSS and it is our mission to offer fresh produce to our Guilford residents in need. With the Neighbor-to-Neighbor LifeLine support of the Shattuck Fund, we are able to provide healthy alternatives to the variety of non perishable food items that are handed out during pantry visits. The Shattuck Fund was established in 2005 for the specific purpose of providing fresh produce to the GFB recipients. We are able to procure fruits and vegetables from a local farm market at discounted prices. In the past few weeks we purchased apples, bananas, tomatoes, pears and oranges.
The USDA projected a 4.5-5.5% increase for fresh produce this year. Tomatoes are up 10.6%, lettuce 27.3% and potato prices up 12.1%. Prices have sky rocketed due to freezing temps in Mexico and Arizona along with increased fuel costs and other variables. Because of this, it isn’t always feasible for our recipients to purchase fruits and vegetables on their own. Although there is little we can do to control prices, there is something we can do to allow our neighbors in need to make healthy choices. We are grateful to have the support to help others.