Food banks in Indiana are expecting a decrease in donations from small, local farmers and community gardens because the drought has limited the supply of produce available.
Local farmers often donate their surplus produce to food pantries. But because of the drought, there is not much extra food to go around.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank Director Julio Alonso says this year they’ve had a hard time getting farmers to commit to donations of fresh foods.
“A loss in food from any source is a loss we notice because we are constantly struggling to increase the amount of food we’re getting out to these agencies,” he says.
A small percentage of the food bank’s food comes from direct farmer donations, but Alonso says the local produce is some of the best quality they get.
Perry Township provides grants and space to non-profit organizations in Monroe County. Perry Township Trustee Dan Combs says food pantries could also see a drop in donations from grocery stores as the cost of food goes up.
“I’d anticipate that that’s going to happen everywhere, not just with produce, but with everything in the food chain process,” Combs says.
If food banks do not get the donations they need, they say they will have to buy more food, which could cut into their operating budgets.