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'Less food resources available': More than ever before, Colorado food banks struggle to keep shelves stocked

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 19:43:00-04

DENVER — More so than ever before, Colorado food banks and pantries say they're struggling to keep their shelves stocked.

"Supply has been a challenge for us," said Steve Kullberg, the chief operating officer with Food Bank of the Rockies. "The demand has gone up so much, most of our partners are seeing two to three times the demand that they have historically."

While demand has increased, Kullberg said supply hasn't been able to keep up.

"The amount of food total, amount of food in the charitable food system, has remained about the same or increased slightly due to work that we're doing," he said. "That is not enough to meet the demand that's out there."

Kullberg said the issues stem from food inflation, an increase in need in the immigrant community and overall supply chain issues.

Less than eight miles down the highway, Twin Parishes is experiencing similar problems. Officials there said they're having big issues keeping certain products stocked.

"I think fresh produce is our biggest challenge with the double in amount of need," said Kevin Holwerda-Hommes, director of Twin Parishes.

Holwerda-Hommes said two years ago, Twin Parishes was distributing, on average, about 540 boxes of food a month. So far this year, he said they're averaging about 1,000 boxes of food a month.

He attributed part of the increase to a surge in new client registrations.

"We're open 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., whereas we always have lulls in there by midway through that session, because of how many new sign ups we're doing" he said. "We just kind of run nonstop throughout those two-hour windows."

Officials at Food Bank of the Rockies said they're hoping low inventory issues are resolved in the next couple of weeks for the sake of those relying on them for help.

More than ever before, Colorado food banks struggle to keep shelves stocked

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