PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Residents are not the only ones with sticker shock these days. The rising cost of food has pushed budgets to the brink at some Philadelphia charities.
CBS3’s Jan Carabeo tells us about the tough decisions that could be on the horizon for organizations that feed those in need.READ MORE: 2 Suspects Fatally Shot During Home Invasion In South Philadelphia, Police Say
The assembly line at Manna hasn’t stopped.
Not even the height of the pandemic could shut it down, but after all that perseverance a new challenge is threatening Manna’s mission.
“We never expected that things would be this out of control,” Manna CEO Sue Daugherty said.
Supply chain issues are making it difficult for the organization to find the food it needs. Manna serves more than 100,000 dietary-specific meals a month to the seriously ill — and it’s all for free.
“Sourcing milk like impossible. Eggs, impossible. We used to work with two food vendors mainly. We’re working with up to six vendors to get the products in-house,” Daugherty said.
When they can pull the food together, the cost is skyrocketing. The price per meal is up 40 cents on the dollar.
“We’re seeing in some of our egg products double the price, protein increase of 40 or 50%. It’s across the board,” Daughtery said.
For the first time in six years, Manna is considering instituting a waitlist.READ MORE: Officer Fires Gun During Struggle With Suspect Wanted For Stealing Car, Philadelphia Police Say
“And having to say no to someone who needs that nutrition, that’s devastating. Devastating to us,” Daughtery said.
Across town at Philabundance, they’re really feeling the pinch too. Freight costs have tripled in the past year, forcing the organization to get creative when it comes to both budget and planning.
“We’ve definitely had to be very resourceful,” Philabundance’s Chelsea Short said.
When possible, Philabundance is ordering food months in advance to work around shipping delays.
They’re also buying more local to cut down on delivery time and cost.
“It allows us to know we’re going to have this product,” Short said.
Both organizations say cash donations are now key.
“Helps with the food purchasing costs but also the freight costs and all the other costs that get added to the purchasing of these foods,” Short said.MORE NEWS: Melanoma Isn't Just Caused By Environmental Factors Like Sun Exposure, New Research Says
This is all being done to avoid disruption in service, keeping the Philadelphia region fed and healthy.