Watch CBS News

The Squeeze: Supply Chain Problems Have Charitable Organizations Feeling Pain Ahead Of Holiday Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Charitable organizations need help now more than ever.

The rising cost of items due to the supply chain delays are really putting a squeeze on how much good they can do in the community, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Monday.

The line for New York Common Pantry circled around the block in both directions, just shy over overlapping.

There were regular pantry offerings on one side and the Thanksgiving distribution on the other. Hundreds of families are relying on groceries to help make ends meet.

"We see many of the food items that we usually purchase in short supply. When we can purchase them, more expensive," said Stephen Grimaldi, executive director of New York Common Pantry.

Lower inventory, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions have made it hard to buy nutritious food for its clients. All this as food donations have been cut in half.

"Now, we're finding because we can't get food locally that we have to go further and further away. The further you go away, the more supply chain issues you confront," Grimaldi said.

Andre Thompson is in charge of purchasing the groceries.

"We are basically competing with everyone else as a pantry -- supermarkets, the household consumers," Thompson said.

It's a daily process, with some close calls.

"If we weren't a few steps ahead in planning our Thanksgiving procurement, we wouldn't have it available to provide today," Thompson said.

For so many nonprofits, the holidays are prime time for fundraising. But delays with the supply chain are impacting that effort, too.

"Simple things like not enough glue or paper. You say what's the big deal about that? Well, our major fundraising is through the mail," said Maj. Kevin Stoops of the Salvation Army.

Millions of dollars could be put on hold. With more requests for help, concerns are mounting about the impact on major programs, like the Angel Tree Toy Drive.

"I have had sleepless nights," Stoops said. "Can you support the Salvation Army maybe a little earlier in your thinking, just because it's crucial this year."

Charitable organizations are trying to do even more with a lot less this year, hoping to continue being a lifeline to those who need it most.

For more information on how you can help the charities featured in the story, please click here, here and here.

Editor's note: This story first appeared on Nov. 15, 2021.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.