HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) – High prices at the gas pump and nearly every aspect of life affect people at all economic levels, and it’s not just people who get hurt, but the organizations that aim to help people.
Inflation makes its home at Hearts and Hands Food Pantry in Huntersville.
Although it strives to help those in need throughout the year, inflation is slowly putting them in need of supplies and money with the holidays fast approaching — a time when the need for help is at its peak.
As Hearts and Hands Food Pantry prepares merchandise for customers – they need it too because inflation has hit close to home.
“People are definitely feeling upset and it’s frustrating to be honest,” said Kenya Joseph, president of Hearts and Hands Food Pantry.
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics released data showing that food prices in the South have risen 5 percent over the past 12 months.
With food prices soaring, donations in the pantry are down, and they see an average of 10-20 more families each week.
“It keeps us going, it keeps us going,” said John Lindsey of Charlotte, who relies on the store.
“I have to do this now, I won’t be doing this forever because I am looking for work, but yes, it is a blessing and there is a great need to help a lot of people,” said a woman receiving assistance from the storeroom.
Hearts and Hand Food Pantry serves more than 400 people.
Due to supply chain problems, they are seeing shortages of toilet paper, canned vegetables, cat food and meat.
“This is where hyperinflation and entire supply chain shortages are affecting organizations like us,” added Sandra Marks, CEO of Hearts and Hands Food Pantry,
Because donations are low, nonprofit leaders sometimes use their money to buy supplies and serve people at the same level.
“Also, since we have a delivery service, we are affected by the rising costs of gas and we are trying to figure out how to manage that with our volunteers who are also driving,” Kenya Joseph added.
Supply chain problems and rising inflation have made conditions during the pandemic go from bad to worse for the poor.
“It’s something we have to pay and do everything we can until we can’t,” Joseph said.
“You know I wish I was in a position where I could donate instead of coming to serve, but we’ll get there,” Lindsey said.
Hearts and Hands Food Pantry is concerned about the future outlook if inflation continues to rise, adding that cash donations are now needed to help them carry out their mission.
“All of this is affecting us in ways that you know, we’re a little bit concerned about…what will happen if this keeps increasing because it doesn’t look like inflation is going to go down any time soon,” Sandra Marks said.
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