VEAP purchases and receives food for our pantry from many sources, including the U.S. government. For many years, VEAP has benefited from surplus crops grown and distributed through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
During the pandemic, aid from TEFAP grew enormously to meet the increased need in communities across the country. Now, rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and the end of pandemic-related supports (including a significant drop in TEFAP) have led to food shortages across the nation—and VEAP is feeling the negative effect.
At the height of the pandemic, VEAP distributed close to 50 pounds of food per individual served. In recent months, we are now distributing approximately 35 pounds per person—a 30% drop. But across our community, the need has not gone down. With ultra-high inflation impacting all levels of the food chain, those living on low incomes are being hit the hardest. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, prices for at-home food have increased 10.8% as compared to this time last year, the largest 12-month percentage increase since November 1980. Gas prices at the pump have also forced families to make tough decisions about whether to buy groceries or fill their tank so they can get to work. Many of them ultimately seek food from VEAP and other food pantries to fill the gap.
If you have visited or volunteered in our pantry recently, you may have noticed the change: everyday food products like pasta and rice are often in short supply. Many of our shelves are half-full, and families are losing access to the food variety they have come to rely on when visiting VEAP. For many households, healthy and nutritious food is simply too expensive to buy on their own.
Earlier this year, we asked for your support as part of our annual March Food and Fund Drive campaign. The community responded generously to that call, donating over 100,000 pounds of food. However, with VEAP being the largest food pantry in the Twin Cities, we serve over 100 people every day—and families are welcome to visit us twice a month, and sometimes more often if they need extra support. As a result, our springtime food supply has now been exhausted.
Will you support us in meeting the great need of our community at this time?
Hold a Food Drive
Donations from local community members and businesses are the main driver of food choice and diversity on our pantry shelves. Team up with your extended family, workplace or faith community to hold a VEAP food drive. veap.org/donate/donate-food
Donate Most-Needed Items
Inventory at the pantry changes quickly. VEAP maintains a detailed list of our most-needed items online, including household supplies and goods that are consistently in demand from our participants. veap.org/most-needed-items
Order Food Online
Thanks to our tremendous purchasing power, every dollar donated to VEAP allows a family to receive enough food to make three meals. A recurring gift of $120 a month will feed a family of four all the meals they need for an entire month. veap.org/donate/give-today/
If you have any questions about this emergency food campaign or you’d like more guidance about how to best support us, please email Caley at [email protected] (that’s her pictured here). She’s happy to help.