While demand is up, supplies and donations are down. The food banks, like their customers, also are suffering from high gas prices and struggling with the impact of rising food prices on their operations.
U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge will hold a press conference at The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. to address how the new Farm Bill working its way through Congress will help local food banks and pantries that are struggling to meet increased demand in the economic downturn.
Food prices increased in April by the largest percentage in 18 years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The average price of diesel fuel in North Carolina is $4.72, up from $2.88 one year ago.
The new Farm Bill would invest an additional $10.36 billion in nutrition initiatives. The bill increases funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program by $1.26 billion.
The initiative provides commodities and other resources to states to help stock food banks. The bill also provides $50 million in 2008 to immediately address shortages at food pantries.
President Bush vetoed the bill on May 21 and Congress is currently working to override the veto.