NORTHRIDGE, Ohio (WDTN) – With food costs rising, food pantries in the Miami Valley are noticing a spike in people needing help.

The cost of food went up 5.3% in October compared to the same month last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With God’s Grace executive director Nicole Adkins said the increased need for food in the community became clear about a month ago. Adkins said the number of people at their mobile food distributions have doubled and more people are using the free grocery store.

“They before was never had to come to a food pantry, but now with the higher cost, they’re having to come to the food pantry to fill the gap of their financial hardship,” Adkins said.

The Second Harvest Food Bank serving Clark, Champaign and Logan counties is seeing it too.

Excutive director Tyra Jackson said they’ve had a 20% increase in people in need of help from September to October.

Jackson said with the average person only getting around $200 a month with SNAP benefits, rising food costs are hurting a families’ budget.

“The slightest little thing actually makes things even harder, and so we have to prepare and be ready to assist and know that we’re going to have additional people,” Jackson said.

Inflation is not just affecting the need, it’s affecting giving as well. Adkins said their number of food donations have decreased too.

“They actually quit buying the items because it was so much costly, so they actually just say, well, I used to donate $20, I’ll just donate it through your website instead,” Adkins said.

Even with these new challenges, the pantries are determined to help.

“That’s why we’re here and we want people to use those different resources,” Jackson said.

Food pantries are asking anyone who is able to help to donate food, no matter how big or small of a quanity because every donation helps.