NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Local food banks are running very low on supplies, making it hard for them to provide food to those who are most in need. The reasons are complex and some call the shortage alarming

Betty Thomas, Chief of Operations of the New Orleans Food Pantry said, “Two weeks ago we had meat, we were able to supply people with enough food to last maybe half the month, maybe three weeks out of the month. Now we’re not able to do that.”

Shortages of donations, coupled with supply chain challenges has combined to mean less food for them to distribute to people who need it.

According to Thomas, “We’re completely out of meat. This truck you see behind us is usually full when it arrives and this is the first truck we’ve had in a week. It’s picking up from Walmart in Robert, La. and bringing us a truckload of food. Today we got about a quarter of a truck.”

The shortages reach the very top of the food giving chain to Second Harvest Food Bank.  They provide the lion’s share of food to be distributed by organizations like the Food Pantry.

Click here to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank

Director of Food Sourcing, Emily Slazer adds that some programs that were helping hungry families have been discontinued, “A few government programs that were very helpful during the peak of COVID that have since ended, which have been a big loss of food supply and donations are down across multiple channels.”

This shortage is a fairly new but significant problem for our food banks, but Thomas says she heartbroken over not being able to do what the food pantry was set up to do, and that’s fight hunger in New Orleans, “The people who are trying and they’re failing at trying to feed their families, and that’s where we come in to try to help them. And right now it’s difficult because we can’t help them.”