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Food banks across the region see an increased demand for food assistance

According to Feeding America, about 1 million people are facing hunger in Pennsylvania.
Credit: WPMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Local food banks say the need for food assistance is almost as high as it had been in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

“We are seeing about 20% increase from where we were this time last year, so it’s been flowing these past few years, in the midst of the pandemic, but right now it’s starting to creep back up again," said Amy Hill, the director of community engagement & advocacy at the Central Pa. Food Bank.

“We’re also seeing an increased need. Everyone that’s going to the store, they see the rise in prices and gas, and all of those things are in correlation of what we’re experiencing," said Jennifer Brillhart, the president of the York County Food Bank.

Officials say the price of food is too expensive for a lot of people.

“People are working hard, they’re doing everything they can, but when the food overall is about 14% higher it’s tough. You know if the money isn’t 14% higher, it can be hard to keep up with that with your family," said Hill. 

Inflation has also been hitting food banks.

“Like the individual, from our level as well we purchase a lot of food in order to meet the need, and we’re seeing those increased prices as well," said Brillhart.

“Our costs are up just the same, that the price of fuel, for our fleet of trucks, the price of keeping the heat on in our building, all of that sort of things is certainly increasing the operational expenses at the same time," said Hill. 

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