By Pauleen Le

EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) — Inflation is causing the price of food to go up. That, paired with supply chain issues, has area food pantries struggling to feed hungry families in the community, and the need is growing again.

The Open Door food pantry is also seeing more families coming in for help. On Wednesday morning, vans were heading out to go to eight area grocery stores for retail rescue. That means rescuing the food that’s near the end of its life and turning it around and getting it out the door to families in need.

The Open Door (credit: CBS)

The shelves inside aren’t necessarily empty. The March campaign for Minnesota FoodShare Month just ended, but in about two weeks much of it will be gone.

It’s not just Open Door struggling. In addition to area grocery stores, the pantry gets much of it supply from Second Harvest, but that food bank is also struggling because of inflation and the supply chain issues. Now it’s causing a one-two-three punch with more people needing help.

“So what we’ve seen is as wages went up, people were like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re good.’ And then as prices have way passed that wage growth, they’re like, ‘Sorry, we’re back,'” Open Door Executive Director Jason Viana said. “And so we’ve seen a lot of people returning.”

To put it into perspective, at the height of the pandemic Open Door was helping 20,000 people. This past fall that number dropped to about 10,000, and now it’s back up to 12,000.

Pauleen Le