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Mid-South Food Bank responding proactively to inflation, supply chain concerns

From turkey shortages, rising costs and potentially fewer donations; Mid-South Food Bank says it prepares for it all.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Mid-South Food Bank experienced a heightened demand for its services since the start of the pandemic.

Now, more than 18 months into it, the demand is still significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.

With services still high, inflation and supply chain concerns are issues that Mid-South Food Bank President and CEO Cathy Pope said they're keeping an eye on.

“It is quite the concern," she said. "We have seen just a little bit of an uptick in the expenses.”

Pope said the the food bank is seeing the rising costs to transport food from the cost of gas to their semis carrying it.

How the supply chain backlog impacts grocery stores, may also impact the food bank, Pope said.

Less food left on the shelves means potentially less donations. 

“If that starts to decrease, if they have less food to donate, we’re going to see a decrease, a bit of a decrease, in our retail store level pick up which we really rely on a lot," she said.

The upcoming holidays is one of the busiest times of the year for the food bank.

Pope said they're proactively putting in more orders earlier to prepare for any delays.

A turkey shortage could potentially impact their holiday distributions too.

“We’re working on that and, of course, there are alternatives," she said. "We can do ham. There are other things we can do. We can have smaller chickens as opposed to larger turkeys. We’ve been doing this a long time. We’ve been doing this many times in the food bank world so we know how to pivot.”

The food bank is currently doing it's 2021 Turkey Drive. To help families have a meal for the holidays, donate here.

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