MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – High prices and low supply hurts everyone, individuals, families, and organizations serving those in need.

“We are facing the same hardships that we were about a year ago as we head into the holiday season,” said Allison O’Toole, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland, a food bank in Brooklyn Park.

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Second Harvest Heartland stocks hundreds of food shelves in the Twin Cities area and beyond, stretching to southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

This holiday season is similar to 2020 and the pandemic is still taking its toll.

“Food shelves are setting the need for canned beans, peanut butter, whole-grain pastas,” said O’Toole. “Those staples that are getting expensive for folks to afford.”

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O’Toole says that communities of color face twice the levels of hunger versus their white counterparts.

“What we at Second Harvest Heartland are doing is making sure that we are fine-tuning and adjusting how we do our business so that we reach those communities of color,” said O’Toole.

Distribution and worker shortages have impacted food shelves, too. Some have made multiple adjustments, at times delivering food directly to the people.

“We need everyone to stick by our side and continue, so we can make this a hunger-free holiday season,” said O’Toole.

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Ren Clayton