Tyler food pantries hit lows as inflation affects economy
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - As the price of goods and services continue to rise, food pantries in East Texas are being affected as well.
The nonprofit PATH is having to pay more for food supplies than in the past.
Emergency services operations manager at PATH, Michael Vasquez says, “We went from previous years 7 to 10 thousand dollars that we’re having to spend at area food banks, now we’re having to spend 10 to 14 thousand dollars a month.”
And once the food is bought and shelves are restocked, items will be gone sooner than expected as more and more people are in need.
“We have seen an increase of about 5 to 600 families each month. That began earlier this year. We’ve also seen people you know not being able to not get as much as we used to at the grocery store, so they come here and supplement their pantries at home.” says Vasquez.
Another food pantry here in Tyler called Tyler Thrift are experiencing similar issues. Co-owner of the store Dallas Browning says he notices customers taking from the shelves who don’t usually do so. Even donors have done the same.
“People that would donate normally, they still would bring stuff but every once in a while, they will take stuff too. So as much as they still want to try and help and help us out and help out those in need, unfortunately they’re finding themselves in need just like, I mean a lot of people are now a days.” says Browning.
Browning says the store restocked this past Monday but predicts food items will be gone by the end of week. The store says they don’t want to have to close their food pantry ever since it was established in 2019.
“I really never would’ve thought how necessary it was then and especially now.” says Browning.
PATH says they are in need of produce, dairy and personal hygiene items while Tyler Thrift is needing nonperishable food items.
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