Local News

Drought Hurts Food Bank Supply Just as Demand for Help Grows

Posted November 21, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST
Updated November 21, 2007 8:49 a.m. EST

— The drought is playing a role in drying up supplies at Raleigh's food bank, and that couldn't come at a worse time.

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has more mouths to feed this Thanksgiving from unexpected places. Food Bank president Peter Werbicki said folks from the lower-middle class, usually able to get by without assistance, are starving under the rising cost of living, including high gas prices.

"We are not keeping up with the demand," he said.

Werbicki said his assistance load is up by nearly 25 percent. Raising the food and funds is hard, especially since the Food Bank has fallen on hard times too.

Gas prices pushed shipping costs $15,000 over budget. That is in spite of there being less food to move. The lack of rain has caused a shortage of Food Bank produce from N.C. farms.

"We've really been hit this year with the drought, really been hit," Werbicki said.

"If it was not for the Food Bank here, there would be a lot of people that would really suffer," Maurice Windley said.

Windley helps feed people at his church with help from the Food Bank. He said he, too, has seen more people needing help in recent months.