Food pantries plead for donations to keep up inventory amid spike in demand
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Many food pantries in the KC area are facing serious shortages of food they can give to those facing hunger during the holidays.
On Monday, the line at City Union Mission’s distribution center was stretched across the entire front side of the building. People living in low-income housing come to pick up groceries there, but, at the current demand rate, the mission could run out of Thanksgiving food boxes by Tuesday evening.
Unless more food donations come in soon, it’s a problem several pantries across the area are facing.
“We’re literally on the edge of survival,” said City Union Mission’s CEO Terry Megli. “We’re so dependent on the generosity of Kansas City to help us keep our inventory up.”
City Union Mission is now down to less than 30 boxes of food, which may not last through the end of Tuesday. Monetary donations are always accepted, but Megli says what they need the most right now is physical food donations.
“We had planned to give out 400 [boxes], now we need another 100,” Megli added. “So, there is an urgent need for us just to get Kansas City to help us. We’ve got hungry Kansas Citians that are ready for a Thanksgiving meal.”
With food prices up 3.7 percent, according to the USDA, Feeding America says as many as 1 in 10 Kansans and 1 in 9 Missourians are facing hunger.
Vivent Health echoes the concerns of City Union Mission.
“Today, we don’t have milk, eggs, or salads in there,” leaders at the Vivent Health Clinic told KCTV at the beginning of November.
“We’re in need of additional donations [and] additional community partners helping out with that food need because it’s huge right now,” said Juan Rivera, a Vivent Health Case Manager.
Vivent Health’s food pantry has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of people who rely on it for food, particularly those who are being treated for HIV.
“A lot of these medications that people are taking for HIV specifically require you to have calorie intake,” Rivera explained. “They absorb better when you have that appropriate level of calories in your system. So, some of those medications require you to have food in your belly and system, and that’s a huge barrier for someone who has to take medication daily.”
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