Michigan Food Banks Are Struggling; Here’s How You Can Help in Southwest Michigan
It's been a tough year for a lot of people. Inflation has hit nearly every aspect of daily life, with groceries alone rising more than 11% in price. Currently, due to a mass die-off of chickens, eggs have skyrocketed in grocery stories.
This combination of inflation and low supply in some areas has created a perfect storm of need across the country, and especially in Michigan. And now, Food Banks are asking for any help you can offer.
The Food Bank Council of Michigan has statistics on its website, claiming that as much as 15% of Michigan residents and 18% of Michigan's children are considered "food insecure," which means they have limited to almost no access to a regular meal.
That number, though, likely went up in 2022, and even now in 2023 as inflation continues to become a factor, and the long-term effects of delays during the pandemic continue to snarl the shipping, and transporting of goods.
Ken Estelle, who is the president and CEO of Feeding American West Michigan, recently spoke to MLive about the issue.
"Coming out of the Pandemic, we thought we would be getting back to a more normal type of food need. But inflation took over... There are so many families that are living paycheck to paycheck anyway, and it doesn't take a lot to put them over the edge."
The U.S. Census says up to 801,000 Michiganders are in need, and now food banks are struggling to keep up. Families that normally are able to donate are struggling as well since the cost of food has hit them too. They may not be part of the "food insecure" population, but they are tightening the belt.
To make matters even worse for the food banks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which typically buys surplus food from American farmers for distribution to food banks, has a dwindled supply due to supply chain issues, and the war in Ukraine.
So, now it's more important than ever for local donations. If you can give, please do. Look and see where the nearest food bank is to you, or visit any one of these food banks in Southwest Michigan.