Food banks struggle to keep up with year-round demand
Food banks in the Tri-Cities are struggling to keep up with growing demand as donations decline.
Volunteers say a few years ago, food banks would see a big surge in demand and donations during the holiday season, then around January and February, both would drop off.
But that's not happening anymore.
Volunteers at several food banks in the Tri-Cities say many hungry residents fill their facilities all year long, and donations after the holiday season are not keeping up with the year-round growing demand.
Golden Age Food Share in Pasco for example, sees 400 to 450 senior and disabled families each week, and sometimes, they don't have enough food to give out.
"Our core amounts hold steady, but we don't get that extra boost and with more and more people needing help, unfortunately, what we have has to stretch further and further. So we're giving out less per individual" said Nick Russell, Golden Age Food Share volunteer.
Another problem facing food banks is grocery stores are cutting back their inventory to save money.
So the amount they donate to food banks is also less than it used to be.
Volunteers say they still try to help everybody who needs food, but the overall selection is sometimes limited.
Many times they give out more unhealthy foods, like donuts, to compensate for not having a greater selection of healthy items.
Volunteers say the items they need most are proteins, like meats and cheese.
For more information on how to donate, you can call Golden Age Food Share at 509-547-8310.