Increased food need exhibited by high demand at Dane County food pantries
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The food needs doubled for some Dane County food pantries who are serving more families than ever before.
Dane County food pantries released a joint statement that included several statistics about a dramatic increase in food insecurity in 2022.
According to The River Food Pantry, 1,300 Dane County households registered for their food pantry services, a record number. Middleton Outreach Ministry said their food distributions increased 116% and Badger Prairie Needs Network expects to serve 35,000 people in 2022.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Director of Outreach Rick Thomas said their pantry is serving double the number of families they were serving in April.
”It’s the price of food. It’s gotten very expensive. A lot of things are 50% more than they were a year ago,” Thomas said. ”This is something people can do to free up resources to help pay for higher rent, gas prices, and everything else so food prices.”
Thomas said generous donations from members made it possible for the church to provide more food at the pantry to meet the need. Volunteers are preparing for the 28th annual Thanksgiving meal happening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.
Susan Baez and her husband spend every Tuesday before the holiday cooking turkeys for community members who might not be able to afford a big meal.
”I wish there wasn’t a growing need, but the fact that we can provide this is just awesome,” Baez said. “One of the pastors came up to me and said, ‘Hey I heard you like to cook. Would you fill in for a year?’ And 20 years later I’m still cooking turkeys.”
The 2022 meal marks Good Shepherd’s first return to a sit down style Thanksgiving after two years of a curb-side system during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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