Story filed by NewsCenter16 Reporter
South Bend, IN - Rising fuel prices are hitting one local charity hard. They have forced the Food Bank of Northern Indiana to stop the majority of their food delivery.
If you drive by the food bank's parking lot, you will see 14 trucks that run on diesel fuel. All of them have been halted, except one.
The Food Bank says last summer they were spending about $250 a week in diesel fuel. This year they are spending twice that.
It's something they just can't afford since they're already in a budget deficit.
Once a month Cathy Faulisi makes her way through the food pantry at the Elkhart Church Community Services.
“Sometimes if we didn't come to the places we wouldn't probably be able to eat,” she said.
The Elkhart area food pantry gets 7,500 pounds of food from the Food Bank of Northern Indiana every month, making it one of the largest donation recipients. But starting next month they'll be one of many organizations the Food Bank can't deliver to because of higher gas prices.
“It’s just such an significant increase and we are already operating at deficit for the year. [We] need to make cutbacks. Fuel seems to be most logical at this point,” said Bill Carnegie, food bank director.
The food bank first stopped delivery in the immediate area and now they're cutting off the rural areas too. They expect to give out half the amount of food they usually do.
“What I expect is going to happen is food pantries will cut back on food they give out to people and work us into their schedule when they can,” said Carnegie.
That is exactly what Elkhart Church Community Services will do. They'll pick up the food, making two to three trips if need be, to feed all of the people who depend on them.
The food bank will continue to operate in some areas of South Bend, Mishawaka and Michigan City, but delivery otherwise has stopped, at least until gas prices let up.