Food pantries continue to see an increased demand for donations

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Posted at 9:06 PM, Jul 08, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Despite many businesses fully reopening and some people returning to work, the need for food donations is still high.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee says the demand is still outweighing the supply.

In 2020, food banks nationwide distributed 6 billion meals serving 55 percent more people now than before the pandemic in the United States.

As a result of the pandemic, Feeding America estimates1 in 8 Americans could face hunger.

It's been more than a year after the pandemic and the need for food donations to keep pantries like this one running remains high.

Kimberly Molnar is the chief operating officer for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. She says even though the Nashville warehouse looks full at the rate of turns it could be empty in about 21 days if food stopped coming today.

"We are still seeing a 40% increase on demand two numbers pre-pandemic, so the need is still extremely high. We've not seen a very large change with that at all," said Molnar.

Since the federal pandemic unemployment program ended last week and more people still out of work, Molnar says they have to be ready.

"Whenever there's a financial impact to household income, we're going to feel that on our end and our pantries and partner agencies are certainly going to feel that," Molnar said, "We are bracing for that reality, expect to see at least in the short term. So, the food donations and financial donations go long way for us."

Second Harvest says just $1 can feed a family of four.

"We see increased orders from our partner agencies, we see more frequent visits to the food bank to supplement what they have received already. Their demand is still high."

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, visit the Second Harvest Food Bank's webpage.