Rising food costs hurting food banks in Hampton Roads

Food banks
Posted at 9:31 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-13 09:54:20-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The cost of living is on the rise - that includes rising food prices due to inflation. So, how is this all impacting food banks?

"The rising costs you’re seeing at the grocery store, we see the same thing at the food bank just on a larger scale," said Bob Latvis, the chief operating officer at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

Inflation on food prices is having a big impact on food banks in Hampton Roads.

"The food bank receives our product through donations, and purchased food we purchase on our own. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the trend in our donated food go down over the past several months," Latvis said.

The food bank has had to fill that gap by pulling money out of their fund to keep up with demand.

"Turkeys for the holiday season - we traditionally have an ample supply that we can give to our distribution supply agencies. This year, the prices have been extremely high," Latvis tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.

Something the food bank has never seen.

"It’s very rare for us to say no. It's not within our mission to say no." Latvis said.

For the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, it’s impacted the cost of food that they send to schools.

The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank says their backpack bags have gone from $5 to $7 due to the rising food prices and inflation. These backpack bags are filled with several canned good that school-aged kids can take home and eat.

"We’ve always been able to keep the cost at $5 or less. We haven’t changed what we put in the backpacks; it’s just costing us more," Karen Joyner, the CEO of Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, tells us.

The supply chain has also been a strain for grocery shoppers.

"For some people, it’s like a slap in the face," said grocery shopper Malcolm Lott.

"What I would usually pay for groceries would be $50," said Martha Williams, another shopper.

She says now, her groceries are up to $85.

The Labor Department says consumer prices jumped 6.2% in the past year, the highest inflation rate since 1990.

Related: Soaring prices leave Virginians with sticker shock as holidays near