DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Food banks across Ohio say they are in dire need of financial assistance as inflation continues to drastically increase prices. It’s not just the cost of food increasing, but gas prices and supply chain shortages are causing major disruptions.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is requesting $50 million for immediate emergency funding and $133 million in long-term investment to ensure future stability for Ohio’s families.

“We desperately need more help, many food banks are seeing spikes in need comparable to or higher than in the early weeks of the pandemic,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks Board of Directors. “Some of our foodbanks are rationing food, and more will need to start doing so without immediate action.”

More than 200 food banks along with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks are requesting immediate emergency funding relief due to the high increase in inflation, including Springfield’s Second Harvest Food Bank.

“When we’re trying to purchase food, it’s much more expensive now,” said Second Harvest Food Bank Executive Director Tyra Jackson. “We’re seeing at the food bank a 40 percent increase in expenses due to us needing additional food.”

Supply chain shortages, skyrocketing gas prices and now the cost of food products are causing disruptions at local food banks. Second Harvest said they’re requesting federal funding due to the increase in the cost of food and transportation.

“When our neighbors are shopping, they are getting less food because if they are receiving benefits, they don’t go as far,” said Jackson.

Dayton’s With God’s Grace Food Pantry said their impact doubled in the last week alone due to damaging storms and tornadoes across the Miami Valley.

“A lot of families coming through were two things, it’s the price inflation of food but then everybody knows we had a lot of power outages so we had a double impact yesterday,” said With God’s Grace Representative Nicole Adkins.

Adkins said food banks need financial assistance and the time to act is now.

“You’re seeing it constantly and it’s not going away, inflation will go up, they’re talking about a grain shortage this winter, there’s more to come and we haven’t seen it all,” said Adkins.

In addition to food banks, the Ohio Grocers Association (OGA) believes that grocery stores are getting the brunt of inflation placing a burden on Ohio’s families.

“You put all these things together and it’s a perfect storm,” said Ohio Grocers Association CEO and President Kristin Mullins. “All of our retailers, we’re working on a 1 to 2% profit margins, it’s not like we’re doing this to take advantage.”

Ohio Grocers Association covers over 80% of all grocery stores in the state. Mullins said the cost of food prices is being pushed to the limit, both the store and consumer are feeling the pain.

“The increases in minimum pay too, there’s no one making minimum wage anymore so there’s an increase in prices as well,” said Mullins.

While there’s not an immediate short-term solution, the OGA said stores are doing everything they can to keep prices as low as possible.

“We have to get our people back to work so I don’t know how soon we can do all that but as soon we can, those prices at grocery stores will go down,” said Mullins.