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Needs are up, donations down at local food bank


The holiday season is supposed to be filled with joy.

However, for families struggling to make ends meet, that joy can quickly be replaced with stress.

This year, the Foodbank for Central and Northeast Missouri says the need for food in our area is growing. At the same time, the amount of donations is struggling for a number of reasons. 

The Foodbank is serving around 15,000 more people each month than it was this time last year, according to Katie Adkins, who is a spokesperson at the Foodbank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

"We know that need is significant," Adkins said. "It doesn't seem to be stopping either." 

In post-pandemic times with record inflation, the Foodbank is seeing many first-time families this year.

"It's one accident, the loss of a job, your paycheck not coming in on time... It's really easy to cut into your food budget and cut that food budget back when you can't have that wiggle room with other bills like your rent or electricity," Adkins said. 

These circumstances have also posed a challenge for those who want to donate.

There are some encouraging numbers. The number of people making donations to the Foodbank is up this year by 6%. However, the average donation is down 35%.

"It may be smaller, but they are happy to give it to their neighbors in need and I think that's such an amazing thing to recognize about our community," Adkins said. 

 Even just a $1 donation can provide four meals for a family in need.

"It's a great way to meet the immediate needs during the holiday... but also help feed our neighbors into the future.

Please join us ABC 17 News in helping families this holiday season.

The ABC 17 team will be at the Columbia Mall from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday collecting donations of food and money. You can also donate at Buchheit of Jefferson City (formerly Orscheln Farm and Home).

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Marissa Hollowed


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