Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Food Bank Levels are Down as Demand Goes Up.

As layoffs continue to rise and the economy continues to decline America’s food banks are sagging under the increased load according to The Wall Street Journal. According to The New York Times, critical shortages have forced some Food Banks to ration supplies, distribute staples usually reserved for disaster relief, and in some instances close.

Why are we unable to keep up with demand when we most need to? In part, the problem is due to successful farmers. There is less stored in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bonus Commodity Program that buys surplus crops in America. When the farmers have no surpluses, it translates to a shrinking program.

The fourth quarter oil and gas prices also contributed to the shortfalls by increasing the price of food as the high distribution costs are passed along through the system.

There is a farm bill currently in the Senate that would raise emergency aid of $250 million a year to Food Banks. Of all of the hands that are outstretched to receive economic aid from the government, this hand would deliver relief directly into the mouths of the people. Rather than allow American Food Banks to close, the Senate needs to move quickly to ensure that our relief programs are still in place when our people really need them, like right now! Your thoughts?