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Food banks facing increased demand with inflation, busy holiday season

Demand for food banks is going up as inflation impacts prices.

SEATTLE — There are only two weeks away from Thanksgiving, and some families are feeling the pressure to get food on the table.

It’s an open-door policy at a Paradise of Praise food bank in West Seattle, located near Holden Street and 13th Avenue. 

"They know that our doors are always open, even if the food bank isn't open," said Gilda Holmes, the manager of Paradise of Praise Food Bank.

Paradise of Praise has been providing food for dozens of people every Tuesday for the past 25 years. But demand is going up, with some struggling to purchase food due to inflation. 

"I think this is about 50 cards right here,” said Holmes. “So yeah, my clientele is going up, up, up."

The market research firm Information Resources Incorporated (IRI) released data earlier this month, estimating a Thanksgiving meal will cost 13.5% more this year than in 2021. Another concern for the food bank is trying to get enough people a Thanksgiving staple.

"This year is kind of up in the air as far as how many we'll receive because you got the bird flu going on and inflation itself,” said Holmes. “So, we'll accept turkeys from anybody that want to donate them to us."

She said they've hosted various food drives and reached out to other partners to stay afloat. Despite some struggles, Holmes said the food bank will continue to do its best to get food on the table.

"Don't stress, it's going to be okay, we always manage to feed everybody that comes to Paradise of Praise Foodbank, we hardly ever run out,” said Holmes. “I always have enough food here that you can make a meal for a week."

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