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Second Harvest Appeals for Continued Strong Community Support

In the face of record high requests for food assistance across out Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC’s 18-county service region, we are asking for continued strong community support.

New data from the Food bank network show a sustained and alarming upward trend in requests for food assistance. Through the month of October, the Second Harvest network assisted 70,000 different individuals – an increase of 59% or more than 27,100 people over the same period last year. Families are also turning for help with food more frequently – as revealed by the 83 percent increase in duplicated numbers.

“It’s incredibly concerning and something everyone needs to know because it is a measure of community well-being that is going in the wrong direction,” said Eric Aft, chief executive officer at Second Harvest Food Bank. “It also means that Second Harvest and our network partners need everyone in our community and every organization with a capacity to give to step forward as they are able.”

“We are in a situation where the need is continuing to rise even as food resources at Second Harvest have declined, primarily owing to deep reductions in government support in the form of farm commodities,” said Aft.

Second Harvest is on track to spend more than $3 million this year for food purchases, as compared to $400,000 pre-pandemic. Much of this increase in spending is made possible through pandemic-related grant funds, which will not renew.

“From our vantage point, the economic fallout of inflation continues to rain down on families, leaving many of them in a constant state of stormy uncertainty,” said Aft. “In this environment, too many families are unable to consistently meet their basic needs and this is unacceptable. This not only impacts the children, seniors, and adults in those families, but this situation impacts us all.”

Second Harvest leadership is also keeping a close eye on the looming government shutdown, calling the situation a recipe for disaster.

“Not only would a shutdown during the holidays hit families in our community hard, but it would also worsen the food supply crisis we are facing, said Aft.

The Second Harvest network expects increased requests for food during the holiday season even as it is already struggling to meet the heightened need in our community. A government shutdown during the holidays adds to the number of families facing uncertainty while compounding the challenges of ongoing supply chain disruptions and high food and transportation costs during a time of already increased need across the region.

“At Second Harvest, we believe everyone deserves eat and that strong, healthy communities start with food security,” said Aft. “Our mission, at its core, is to feed people, and we are asking for continued faith in and strong support of our work and that of our network partners.”

Visit our Get Involved page for information about how you can make a difference in individuals' lives and our community.

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Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

3655 Reed St. 

Winston-Salem, NC 27107

Tel: 336-784-5770

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