(ABC 6 News) – With inflation, rising prices and costs that remain consistently high, a growing number of families are feeling the financial pinch.
Food banks are doing all they can to help, but the goods they pay for also cost more. And, on Tuesday night, community members went out of their way to make sure the kids didn’t feel the stress ahead of Thanksgiving.
A teacher at Gage Elementary School in Rochester reached out to the owner of Chez Bojji, a popular restaurant, to find a way to ensure these students get a holiday meal, regardless of their family’s financial situation.
The students received five-star treatment with a full holiday meal that some might not otherwise have had. The meal was complete with service, wine glasses full of juice, and a good time with their classmates.
The past few years have been difficult for families and it only seems to be getting worse.
“I think with the rising cost of food, housing, it becomes difficult, especially for families, to be able to have food on the table or on the roof,” said Major Candace Voeller of the Salvation Army of Rochester.
Major Voeller says the Salvation Army has seen the number of people visiting the food shelf triple in the past few months. It’s a similar story to the Channel One Regional Food Bank in Rochester.
“The need continues to grow, and I think this will be especially the case in the final months of the holidays, when people really want to experience foods that are meaningful to them with their families,” said Jessica Sund, director development and communications at Channel. A.
This year there were 25% more household visits to the food bank compared to 2021. Many of the visitors had never been to a food bank before this year.
Many people have turned to government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“The federal government is making sure we have enough funds to continue to get food to people for as long as people need it,” added Tikki Brown, assistant commissioner for children and family services. from the Minn Department of Social Services.
In Minnesota, nearly 19,000 more people received assistance through SNAP than last year.
With inflation at devastating levels, it’s also difficult for nonprofits to keep up with food costs and demand.
“To have the demand to keep food shelves stocked with a good variety for individuals to choose from, it’s a challenge that we’re really working to maintain just a good selection for individuals,” Major Voeller added.