Local food banks prep as nationwide food shortage looms

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Food banks like Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina are doing whatever they can to feed families in our community -- from seeking donations to packing food boxes for local organizations to distribute.

Each food box goes a long way for families, like Mary Davis, who has three children to feed. Channel 9 met Davis at a Loaves and Fishes mobile food pantry in Huntersville this week.

“Got a lot of bills to pay, we’re short on that,” Davis said.

Each week, Loaves and Fishes feeds between 1,500 to 1,700 people at its mobile food pantries -- that’s double what they were doing before the pandemic.

The organization’s Executive Director, Tina Postel, said, “We anticipate the need staying at an increased demand for months, and possibly the years to come.”

Feeding America told the Washington Post it’s predicting a nationwide shortage of up to 8 billion meals in the next 12 months.

The food shortage is partly due to programs that are set to expire. Loaves and Fishes' mobile food share is one of them, and will likely end at the end of the month. It’s a federal farm to table program that provides fresh food to families, and it doesn’t require a referral.

“Its important to us that we try to get our hands on as much food as possible to get us through those difficult months,” Postel said.

That’s why donations are so needed now.

Earlier this week, Providence Baptist Church in south Charlotte held a food drive to support Second Harvest Food Bank. From March 19 to Sept. 30, the food bank has distributed 12 million more pounds of food compared to that same time last year. It goes to organizations, like Loaves and Fishes, which helps people like Davis.

“This really, really helps me to make sure my children are fed … make sure they get the nutrition that they need,” Davis said.

Second Harvest Food Bank has been so busy with demand across the region, it needs more volunteers. Same goes for Loaves and Fishes, which needs more volunteers to help pack food boxes in its warehouse.

If you want to support Second Harvest Food Bank, Loaves and Fishes and Crisis Assistance Ministry, you can participate in the Crop Hunger Walk. It’s happening virtually on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

More info on the event here.