MINNEAPOLIS — It's a hidden problem, but a growing one. Food insecurity impacts tens of thousands of Minnesotans every year.
"No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to raise their hand and say I don't have enough food to eat," Every Meal Vice President Nate Youngblood said.
Inflation continues to plague the nation. Last month, prices stayed uncomfortably high, sitting at 8.2% more than it was a year ago. It's hitting organizations aiming to feed hungry bellies hard.
"I have three kids at home," Youngblood said. "And when I think about them not having enough food to eat and when I think about a family in a similar situation – that is the thing that motivates all of us."
It's that motivation that's helped create Every Meal's mission to fill student food gaps. Like on weekends and long breaks away from school.
"We are seeing a sharp increase in the need for our programs in the schools," Every Meal Development Officer Elizabeth Tenpas said.
The organization is seeing an increase of about 33% Along with it, Every Meal is seeing a 29% cost increase from last year.
"That is a direct impact to the number of children we can serve," Youngblood added.
It's similar pocket pain over at The Food Group in New Brighton.
"We are all being impacted by inflation. Those individuals within our community that are on fixed incomes, they are being affected the most," The Food Group Director of Programing David Peeples said.
In 2020, The Food Group gave about 6.2 million pounds of freed food. In 2022, only about 2.6 millions pounds. On top of that, the organization says it's seeing more new faces this year.
"It takes all of us in order to solve the problem," Youngblood said.
Including volunteers. Both organizations say they could use more volunteers.
"Please support your local food groups," Peeples said. "They need your help."
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