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Usage increasing at Moses Lake Food Bank

July 5, 2022 Updated Tue., July 5, 2022 at 7:49 p.m.

By Cheryl Schweizer Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE – Even in the summer, the Moses Lake food bank is busy.

Moses Lake Food Bank Director Peny Archer said more people seem to be using the food bank in summer 2022.

“Our numbers are starting to climb again,” Archer said.

The food bank is located at 1075 West Marina Drive.

The recent surge in inflation has eroded purchasing power, and that’s had an effect at the food bank, too.

“We’re seeing people we’ve never ever seen before, that have never been in a food bank,” Archer said.

People that have used the food bank’s services in the past are coming more often, she said.

“You can come once a week, so they’re giving us more frequent visits. Instead of coming once a month, they’re coming two, or three or four times a month,” she said.

Inflation has had a disproportionate effect on some groups.

“Especially seniors, people on a fixed income,” Archer said. “There’s not a lot that they can do.”

In addition, summer means school is out, which means children are at home during the day.

“Kids are munching more at home,” Archer said. “So we like kid-friendly foods.”

Children like soup, even in the summer, she said.

“Kids love that cup of soup,” she said. “(The food bank needs) stuff to make peanut butter and jelly (sandwiches). We’ve got a lot of peanut butter, we don’t have jelly. We can get peanut butter but not jelly, very easily. We have to buy the jelly.

“Mac and cheese is a good one. They’re easy foods for a kid to pop in a microwave,” Archer said.

The food bank takes donations of food and money.

“It’s the donor’s choice,” Archer said.

But food bank operators have the ability to make donated dollars go a long way.

“We’re able to resource food at a much lower value than – let’s say, if I’m shopping for my house,” she said. “We have options. And thank goodness for that.”

Inflation has affected the food bank too.

“It’s been hard,” Archer said. “We have trucks that go pick up food, and we have fuel bills that we’re having to pay. The cost of food is going up, which is (reducing) donations.”

“More people, but less donations and food costs more,” she said.

People who want to donate either food or money can visit the food bank during business hours, 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Donations may be made in person, via the food bank’s website or via traditional mail.

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