JFCS March FoodShare Campaign for PRISM is almost halfway there
By Kim Mueller • JFCS Food Security Coordinator
Thanks to all who have donated to JFCS’ Food and Funds Drive for PRISM. We’re nearing the halfway point and the boxes are starting to fill up – but the need is growing too.
The end of Emergency SNAP benefits in February 2023 is projected to trigger demand that pushes Minnesota’s food shelf system to a level not seen before. This new high level of demand will be on top of the 1.9 million additional visits in 2022 over the 2021 total.
PRISM buys its food from food banks like Second Harvest Heartland and The Food Bank. Food banks can offer lower pricing than a grocery store on many things due to their buying volume and access to government-supported food commodity programs. When prices go up for individuals, they also go up for food banks and their food shelf customers.
It is a circle – food prices go up so more families look to food shelves for support, yet higher food costs means those same food shelves have less food, less choice and fewer hours of operation – just when community need is greatest.
At JFCS’ next-door neighbor, PRISM, staff have curtailed purchasing butter, eggs, flour, sugar, cooking oil and often toilet tissue in order to stretch their resources. They prioritize protein and consistently try to provide three packages of meat per shopper per visit. But last week it was only two – one pound of fish and one pound of ground beef. While they historically target 100 lbs. of food per family, they are now able to provide about 60 lbs. each.
Virtually all of the 400+ food shelves across the state run on donations of food and cash, plus many hours of volunteer time. Thank you in advance for anything you have done or are contemplating. Every can, dollar or hour helps.
For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.