Food pantries paying more these days to keep certain items on cupboard shelves

7:15 PM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
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OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Many families in need around our state count on food pantries to get them through the winter. Yet now directors at some cupboards say they're having to pay more to keep certain items on the shelves.

A number of pantries get their food through the Good Shepherd Food Bank. Many of its donations come from major supermarkets like 'Hannaford.' It used to be that a good number of donations from stores were 'salvaged foods.' That means they were taken off the shelves because they were near an expiration date or were in damaged casing {ex: a dented can} or the product was discontinued.

These days supermarkets are getting more efficient --- meaning there's less wasted food. That means in order to get certain items the food bank sometimes has to buy them at cost, which then gets passed on the pantries.

"It {the efficiency} helps with the business," said Michael Norton, who is the spokesperson for Hannaford, "it keeps prices down..and we've definitely seen that but it does not make it easier to acquire the food that Good Shepherd needs to fulfill its mission."

Officials with the Good Shepherd Food Bank admit salvaged food donations are down. They do say the bank is receiving more donations overall from markets then in years past. Hannaford has increased its fresh food donations over the years to pantries. Fresh foods include items like meats as well as produce.


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