Nov 22, 2011 11:36 PM by Shawn Kline

Thanksgiving food prices up, difficult time for food banks

The same ingredients go into your family's Thanksgiving feast every year, but have you ever wondered how much the cost of those ingredients is going up?
According to a new survey, turkey is up 25-cents/pound from last year. For non-profits, this price inflation makes it that much more difficult to feed the hungry.

"Our donations are down, way down," Nina Dupont said.

Dupont manages Community Investors Food Pantry in Church Point. Not only are donations down, but the faces of those in need aren't who you'd expect.

"our clients are 65-percent working-class families," Dupont said.

This year, Dupont is getting 40 to 50 applications each month and that's just in Church Point.

"This is the largest percentile we've ever seen through our food pantry," Dupont said.

In Lafayette, Amy Fuselier is with Second Harvest Food Bank.

"A lot of our donors are tightening up on donations simply because of the economy the way that it is," Fuselier said.

The increasing food prices aren't helping either. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, Thanksgiving dinner will cost nearly six-dollars more this year compared to last year.

For a family of ten, that's about $50.
Fuselier says that cuts into donations as families first provide for themselves then, if there is some spare change, choose to donate.

"When the economy is better, it's easier to bounce back." Fuselier says, "but the need never goes away."

If you want to help out, all you have to do is stop your local food bank with any canned-foods. Second Harvest Food Bank, for example, then sends your donations to food banks across Acadiana. While traditional Thanksgiving foods like instant potatoes, canned cranberries, or canned vegetables are appreciated, food banks operate year-round and can use all types of non-perishables.



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