Food bank sees sharp increase in demand for assistance

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials with Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield say they are feeding double the number of families compared to just a few months ago. They say it’s because the pandemic arrived just weeks after south Springfield lost its only supermarket.

It has now been two months since this Kroger on South Limestone Street closed its doors – leaving Springfield’s south side without a grocery store.

Oakie Moore says his south side food pantry, Dunamis Ministry, is now seeing about 30 to 40 percent more families than usual. He says the spike began after the Kroger closure and grew significantly following the COVID-19 shutdowns.

“I think it’s really tough, and I think it’s hard on a lot of people to try to deal with this situation,” he said. “I believe sooner or later, there are going to be other pantries opening up if we don’t get another store.”

Moore says despite the increase, the food pantry has stayed well-stocked thanks to Second Harvest Food Bank. The food bank says demand for assistance has continued to increase in recent weeks across Clark, Logan, and Champaign counties.

“Just last week in Bellefontaine, we had over 300 households go through one of our distribution sites,” said Second Harvest Food Bank Executive Director Tyra Jackson.

Jackson says her food bank saw a 50 percent increase in families seeking assistance after the south side Kroger closed, then another 50 percent spike following the pandemic shutdowns. She says the food bank has enough food to meet the demand now and is working to sustain that supply for several months, through the help of Feeding America, local donations, and potential grant funding.

“We’re looking at this long term. We’re expecting to do more fundraising to make sure that we continue to meet that increased need,” said Jackson.

Second Harvest Food Bank is continuing its drive-thru distributions throughout Clark, Logan, and Champaign counties.

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