• 43°

Food bank could see increased need

From coast to coast, food banks across the nation have seen a rise in people seeking food due to job loss and school closures in the wake of COVID-19.

The Charlotte County Department of Social Services (DDS), which houses the county’s food bank has not seen an increase yet but are expecting to this summer.

“We have not seen an increase in requests because SNAP recipients are receiving an additional allotment in March, April, May, and June, which gives them the maximum allotment for their household size,” said Director of Charlotte County Department of Social Services Sari Goff.

Goff said, also, caretakers that have school-age children receiving free or reduced lunch also receive an additional benefit.

According to Goff since March, the DSS has served 32 families, provided 29 boxes for Piedmont Senior Resources to give to Charlotte County residents, and supplemented approximately 65 boxes for at-risk school-age children.

“We are still receiving requests; however, we expect the need to increase when the additional benefits end.”

According to Goff, each food box has at least $25 worth of food depending upon household size, and anyone is welcome to receive food as long as they are a Charlotte County resident.

Goff said that the supply and demand vary on the food that DSS has, and they are currently accepting donations because they anticipate a need when the additional SNAP and unemployment benefits end in July.

The food bank at the DSS accepts both monetary and food donations to help our local citizens.

“We do not accept perishable or out of date food,” Goff said. “We accept food from individual donors, churches, civic organizations, and schools or anyone that wishes to donate.”

To make a donation to the DSS food bank call (434) 542-5164.