KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One dollar doesn’t go as far for Harvesters as it used to due to inflation and other economic stresses.
Until this summer, a dollar allowed the community food network based in Kansas City, Missouri, to buy three meals worth of food.
Now, that same dollar only allows Harvesters to buy two meals for every dollar donated.
FILL THE FRIDGE | Learn how you can help
“It’s hard to tell how long it’ll take to make a change or if we’ll stay at $1 equals two meals, which is still a fantastic metric,” Harvesters CEO Stephen Davis said.
The cost of food, fuel and general operations have eaten away at the nonprofit’s purchasing power, and the change comes at a critical time.
Harvesters supplies food to about 800 pantries, nonprofits and churches in addition to partnering with 26 counties around Kansas City. That is up from around the 700 pantries it served in 2019.
Demand at the pantries they supply is now up 20 to 30% compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
“Many people know us because of our trucks they see on the road,” Davis said. “We have semi-trucks, we have tractor-trailers. As the price of fuel goes up and stays up, it’s incredibly expensive for us to operate the work we do and make the deliveries we make.”
KSHB 41's Fill the Fridge campaign encourages the community to make online monetary donations to Harvesters from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2. Harvesters will use the money to buy perishable items like eggs, meats and produce.
“Items which are staples in any family’s meal preparation,” Davis said. “They are in high demand right now, because costs have really gone up for some of those things.”
Harvesters said volunteers help the nonprofit carry out its mission of ending hunger tomorrow.
The organization sees its mission changing in the future. Davis said Harvesters would like to partner with other social service providers to help clients access food, transportation, job training, health care and more all in one location.
“We are working on root causes of food insecurity,” Davis said.
The Harvesters website has information about how to become a volunteer and partner with the nonprofit.