'It is harder for us': High demand for food is being felt by pantries in Houston

Chaz Miller Image
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
The high demand for food is being felt by food pantries in Houston
One food pantry spokesperson told Eyewitness News it's currently serving 40 to 60 families daily and served 20 to 30 before the COVID-19 pandemic. They said this year, January saw more demand than at any point during the height of the pandemic.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The need for food from the pantry at Northwest Assistance Ministries remains high in the early months of 2023.

"What we're seeing here at Northwest Assistance Ministries and at other food pantries around the area is that the impact is still there," Brian Carr of the ministry said.

Carr told Eyewitness News the ministry currently serves 40 to 60 families daily and served 20 to 30 before the COVID-19 pandemic. He said this year, January saw more demand than at any point during the height of the pandemic.

"The demand for food in this area has become so great that we actually had to adjust our criteria for when families could return to our food bank to get food for a second or third time," Carr said.

If peak demand and new criteria aren't signs enough that the need for food is high - Northwest Assistance Ministries has also started using its own money to purchase enough food to meet the need.

The Houston Food Bank, which helps provide food to Northwest Assistance Ministries, echoed that food donations are harder to come by these days.

"It's more expensive to go to the store to get things. So, guess what - there's not a lot of access in the supply chain to donate to food banks," Nicole Lander, with the Houston Food Bank, said. "It is harder for us."

Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the price of food, while at a lower rate than last year, continues to rise, which both Carr and Lander said plays a major role in the current demand for food.

You can visit the Northwest Assistance Ministries and Houston Food Bank websites for more information on helping both organizations, as well as learning how to get food if you're in need.

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