Nashville Food Bank sees demand rise as inflation continues

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) – Inflation is rising in the number of homes served by the Nashville Food Bank.

Luke Community House in Nashville say their food bank is serving twice as many families as last year.

“Last summer we served about 600 families, and this summer it’s grown to 1,200,” said Diamond Dort, program assistant at St. Luke’s Community House Food Bank.

“They want the food,” said Patricia Nesbitt, the food bank’s chief program officer. “Diapers are a big deal, especially sizes four, five and six. That’s something we can’t stock here, and hygiene items – basic household items like deodorant and cleaning supplies.”

Those who helped run the food bank at St. Luke’s Community House say they can say inflation has hit many families.

“We can get a truck on Monday and that delivery is by Tuesday or Wednesday,” Dort said.

Inflation is bringing more people to their doorsteps.

“In January we gave out about 199 food boxes and last month it was nearly 600 and it ministered to over 1,200 people,” Nesbitt said.

The group said not only do these families need more food and household items, they need more of them too.

“With families that typically come once a month, many of those families come weekly. Sometimes they ask if they can come more than once a week just to have that meal,” Dort said. “A lot of people are doubling now, so there are now two people in a household instead of eight. So they definitely need more feed.”

To meet the increased demands, the Food Bank has added another service day and is ordering larger quantities from the Second Harvest Food Bank.

“We added an extra van day to try and maintain that,” Dort said. “We’ve also partnered with Amazon to get more deliveries to families alongside mobile grocery delivery.”

Nesbit said they work with Second Harvest Food Bank for their supplies and groceries, but they also accept donations to help meet needs.

“Nashville has seen this amazing growth, but as the city grows so does inequality, and the people who’ve always needed us for the last 100 years have needed us,” Nesbitt said. “They come from further than ever just to get the basic services they need in daily life. We always welcome more donations, especially for diapers and toiletries, and even cleaning supplies and shelf food, frozen meats – these are usually the things we are most sought after.

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