Rockford non-profit struggling to feed the needy as food prices go up

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Prices for just about everything are continuing to climb, especially food.

One local non-profit, which helps to feed those most in need, said that they are struggling to keep their shelves stocked.

Carly Rice, the Executive Director of Miss. Carly’s, 1125 5th Ave, said that they are now helping more people than ever, but as the pandemic continues and food prices rise, they are having a hard time keeping up.

“So yes, we keep running out of food. The shelves are bare about 3 times a week here,” Rice said. “We jumped from feeding 350 people a week to about 1,000 people a day, and we held fast at that number. We’re serving many many groups of people, not just homeless people.”

Rice said that simple things, like the cost of bread, determines how many people get fed.

“When there is a price increase, those people get affected first, because they don’t have any wiggle room, and I’ve seen a lot of the elderly coming in again,” Rice said. “That’s what we have budgeted. We can’t do $1.60 a loaf, we’ll only be able to feed half as many people, so every penny really really counts here.”

Carl Campbell, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at Northern Illinois University, said that the new prices can be blamed on COVID-19.

“There’s always some inflation, I think is usually 2% inflation per year, so it’s higher than that,” Campbell said. “It’s 5.2% now, and I think prices will continue to rise, but on a 2% level rather than a 5% level.”

Rice hopes that they will be able to stock up, so they can continue serving the community.

“Everything is getting more and more expensive, and we just don’t have room in the budget. Every penny is just so precious here, if it’s not going towards the food, it’s going towards getting and keeping people off the streets,” Rice said. “We’ve never had to turn anyone away hungry, and we never want to.”

Miss Carly’s is always looking for donations, and there are some key items that they are in need of right now:

-peanut butter
-jelly
-chips
-crackers
-snack cakes, cookies, candy or sweets
-juice pouches/soda/any single serve drink
-oranges
-pudding/jello/fruit cups
-granola bars
-socks
-body wash
-shampoo
-lotion
-razors
-bar soap
-diapers size 4,5,6
-baby wipes
-winter coats
-used toys (in good shape/complete only please)
-camping items
-leggings, hoodies, sweats

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