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Second Harvest facing challenges amid shortages

The challenges come as the food bank is seeing more people in the region in need of food assistance.

Posted: Nov 23, 2021 4:06 AM
Updated: Nov 23, 2021 10:45 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Pandemic driven shortages are affecting the Second Harvest Community Food Bank's ability to keep the community fed.

Michelle Fagerstone, chief development officer said many of the same challenges retailers are feeling, are also being felt at the food bank.

"It's tough," She said.  "I'm not going to lie to you, it's been really tough."

Fagerstone said one of her biggest challenges is delays in shipments.

"We ordered some product in June and we got it in September." Fagerstone said.  "We're having delays every single day."

She also said the food bank is impacted by the ongoing labor shortage, causing further delays for Second Harvest at a time when they need food the most.

Fagerstone said the number of people in our region seeking food assistance is up 36% in Northwest Missouri compared to 2019.

Finally, there's the challenge of rising costs for services and labor. Fagerstone said the food bank cannot pass the cost onto a customer base and is stuck eating the extra costs.  

These challenges will have an impact on how the food bank moves forward, Fagerstone said next year could bring modifications to some of their programs.

Fagerstone is determined to keep positive, and wants to make sure food bank services will continue to meet current needs

"We can spread those dollars as far as we can and to get as much nutritious food out to those people that need it." Fagerstone said.

Second Harvest staff also said community donations to the food bank have trickled down since last year.

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It was a pleasant start to the weekend with sunny skies and temperatures reaching the mid 60s. A cold front moving through the area will bring us down into the 30s for lows overnight with gusty winds up to 20 mph. This will keep our highs in the 50s on Sunday under mostly sunny skies with mild winds from the southwest. Temperatures will quickly start to warm up again on Monday with highs in the mid 60s. Rain chances look to stay minimal into next week. Temperatures are forecasted to stay above average for the first day of December on Wednesday.
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