Poplar Bluff food pantry sees decline in food donations

The Child Concern Center in Poplar Bluff relies on donations for their food pantry and thrift store.
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 9:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:11 AM CDT
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POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - A Poplar Bluff food pantry claims the supply chain crisis is limiting how much food comes through their doors.

The Child Concern Center in Poplar Bluff relies on donations for their food pantry and thrift store. Employees said they have enough clothes for the hundreds of shoppers they see, but not enough food.

“I normally have that table so high of produce you can’t get rid of all of it,” Barbara Bennett, a center employee said.

Bennett says she normally fills dozens of boxes with lots of meats, fruits and vegetables, but in the last couple of months that has changed.

“You see how skimpy they are, and they normally are not that skimpy,” she said.

According to CNN, food banks and pantries across the country are experiencing the same thing.

Center Director Lee Sparks said donations they receive from local distributors are a lot smaller.

“I’m sure due to the economy, and the manufacturers not sending as much to the stores, when stores don’t get it, they don’t have as much to sell but they don’t have as much overage to send to us,” Sparks said.

However, Sparks shared there is no shortage of customers coming into their pantry and thrift store.

At their door they have signs informing shoppers looking for clothes and food that they are lacking food and limiting meals.

“Well, we’re almost out today, so tomorrow there’s not going to be a whole lot,” Sparks said.

She says it’s heartbreaking to share this news to customers like April Ellsworth, a mother of three.

“Usually in a month’s time we come here between 4, 5 times a month,” Ellsworth said. “Coming here actually helps out a lot more than most people think it does.”

Sparks said she hopes a lack in food donations doesn’t last long.

“Hopefully, we’ll still be here to help them,” Sparks said.

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