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South Louisville food pantry facing shortages, rising demand

South Louisville Community Ministries is in need of canned meat, pasta sauce, canned fruit, soup, and juice, as well as grocery bags to pack orders.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — South Louisville Community Ministries is calling on the community for help after skyrocketing demand has cleared the food pantry's shelves. 

In a Facebook post, organizers included a picture of the almost-bare shelves at the Beechmont pantry, asking community members for donations. 

Assistant Director Kate Husk said between inflation and the start of summer, the demand is more than they anticipated.

“It’s something we’re sort of used to, but to have it happen so quickly has been a bit shocking," she said. “It’s depressing to come in and realize we don’t have enough to go around."

Husk said typically the pantry tries to give out produce and meat, since those products are typically more expensive. 

“That’s the shocking thing right now is everything has gone up," she said. “A lot of people are one crisis away from catastrophe and so you add any additional cost and it’s just too much.”

RELATED: Here's how much inflation is cutting into your budget

Steve McClain, with the Kentucky Grocers and Convenience Store Association, said for grocery stores themselves, the problems are similar. Things like the price of gas and fertilizer are driving up operating costs. 

In Kentucky, McClain said between 40-50% of consumers report buying store brand items, compared to around 25% before prices rose. 

“A lot of those are just as good as name brands but to help stretch your wallet that's something people are doing," he said. 

At South Louisville Community Ministries, inflation isn't the only factor though.

Summer is typically a busy season because kids are out of school and facing more risk of food insecurity.  Additionally, Husk said donations tend to lag in the warmer months. 

"It's always a need and it's even more of a need," she said. 

Husk said after the Facebook post, SLCM received a great response and lots of help from the community. Though there are still items they need. 

"None of us could do it by ourselves," she said. "It's been really heartwarming that the community has already acted."

Here's how you can help:

SLCM has an immediate need for canned meat, pasta sauce, canned fruit, soup, and juice, as well as grocery bags to pack orders.

Donations can be dropped off at 415 1/2 West Ashland Avenue in Louisville from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Husk said SLCM is also looking for volunteers to help with their Wednesday morning produce hand-outs.

For more information, click here.

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