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Kalamazoo food bank feels the pinch of increased gas prices and inflation

Five women stand sort through bins of vegetable to put them into family sized portions.
Courtesy photo / Greta Faworski
Volunteers from the Fetzer Institute repacking bulk vegetables into family size portions.

Kalamazoo-based food bank Loaves and Fishes says donations have held steady. But inflation and rising gas prices are still making it harder to serve people.

Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes serves over 28,000 unique individuals a year. The group continues to receive donations of both money and food. But clients’ needs outpace those donations, so Loaves and Fishes has to buy food to make up the difference. That’s where inflation and fuel costs have hurt. Greta Faworski is the associate director of Loaves and Fishes.

“We still see a lot of generous outpouring from the community, it’s just that the other side of it, the element of us purchasing things has shot up so much with food costs that it is not growing at the same level,” Faworski said.

Some people are turning to food banks so they can save money for rent and filling their gas tanks. Faworski added that when gas prices rose to $5 a gallon, over 200 new families came to the food bank for help.

“Maybe if they’re getting some food assistance and then they can reallocate their resources to make sure they can pay their rent, fill their tank to get to work and make sure their house is warm this winter,” Faworski said.