Local food shelves see decrease in donations before Thanksgiving

As inflation continues to rise, some families are struggling to put food on the table this Thanksgiving season.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:23 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – As inflation continues to rise, some families are struggling to put food on the table this Thanksgiving season.

But local food shelves are working to make sure every family can have a Thanksgiving feast.

Although the meal is a part large of the Thanksgiving holiday, Channel One Food Bank & Shelf is treating this week like any other week.

Rather than stocking up on pounds of potatoes and piles of frozen turkeys, the food shelf is focused on meeting family’s everyday food needs.

However, staff members say this has been a difficult year for Channel One. The food shelf is seeing 33 percent more visits than it did last year.

And while the demand rises, the number of donations falls.

Compared to the last three years, manufacture donations have decreased by 60 percent. It’s also seen a 40-50 percent decline in federal donations from the USDA since the start of the pandemic.

While the food shelf has some of those Thanksgiving staples in stock, it doesn’t have as much as it has seen in the past.

“Channel One’s Food Shelf is actually the second largest in Minnesota, outside of the metro. It’s really laid out exactly like a grocery store. You walk in, you got your fresh produce, a full choice model. We’ve got the carts. You really just shop for what it is you need and how much you can use,” Channel One director of development and communications Jessica Sand said.

The food bank portion of Channel One works with more than 115 food shelves and programs across 14 southeastern Minnesota counties. A number of those programs hosted their own Thanksgiving food drives with the help of Channel One.