Story by Jack Garner
Marshall County food pantries are rising to the occasion this summer to meet an increase in demand amid skyrocketing food costs.
Due to inflation and global supply chain issues, food prices rose 10.4% from June 2021 to June 2022. A trip to the grocery store presents a growing financial burden for vulnerable Hoosiers.
At the Marshall County Neighborhood Center in Plymouth, food basket numbers have more than doubled from last June. Bread of Life Community Food Pantry in Plymouth reported a 66 percent increase and the Argos United Methodist Church’s (AUMC) food pantry experienced a near 50 percent increase in the same time frame.
Handling the influx of food pantry needs has been difficult for area food pantries. Unsurprisingly, donations took a major hit as a result of potential donors spending more money on their own essential needs. Food orders to keep pantry shelves stocked became more expensive.
“We are seeing increased prices for our food and hygiene items,” said Rick Schafer, AUMC Food Pantry Director. “We also are finding it difficult to find the non-name brand cheaper items.”
The United Way of Marshall County is responding to the need with R4 Grants. Improving health and nutrition is an area of emphasis in the United Way mission.
The Neighborhood Center recently received an R4 Grant to help them purchase fresh items like fruit, eggs, and cheese for their clients. These items in particular have been more difficult to acquire, said Director Chris Garner.
Bread of Life also received grant awards from United Way for construction of a new walk-in freezer. “The United Way R4 grants have made a significant difference for us!” said Director Terri Brandt.
The United Way of Marshall County is in constant contact with area pantries in Argos, Bourbon, Bremen, Culver, La Paz, and Plymouth. Marshall County residents in need of food assistance are never too far away from a food pantry filled with smiling faces ready to fight hunger.
A complete list of Marshall County food pantries is available at www.marshallcountyuw.org/health-and-nutrition.
You can also help support United Way’s mission and the work of dedicated food pantries by volunteering or donating. See how you can help in this time of need by contacting your local food pantry or by visiting www.marshallcountyuw.org/volunteer.
Together, we can fight hunger in Marshall County and beyond!