Beyond Hunger, known for leveraging monetary donations to purchase large quantities of food at discounted rates, is now calling on the community to donate canned goods to stock their food pantry.
“The food supply chain is just wacky right now,” said Michelle Zurakowski, executive director of Beyond Hunger. “We have plenty of fresh produce and rescue product — just cans are in short supply.”
Beyond Hunger is calling on the community to donate canned meats (chicken and tuna), canned meat meals (ravioli and pasta rings), canned vegetables, canned beans, and canned soups. While the pantry appreciates donations of canned fruit it is not as critically needed as the other items listed.
Food panty staff speculate early hoarding of canned goods during the pandemic may have contributed to the shortage. Disruption in the supply chain and delivery delays have made accessing non-perishable items challenging during COVID-19. Beyond Hunger is limited by availability and demand for food bank services have grown exponentially.
Beyond Hunger staff foresee the need for pantry services continuing to rise in the coming weeks and months. Emergency increases in SNAP benefits implemented in response to COVID-19 are set to expire at the end of the month. Additionally, pop-up food distribution events hosted by Austin Coming Together on the West Side are scheduled to conclude on June 18.
“We are seeing high increases in first time visitors to the pantry and we are facing shortages,” said Sarah Corbin, Beyond Hunger communication director. “Our pantry