CFPIN sees increase in need as economic impact of the pandemic is felt locally

Man working drive-thru distribution center
Tuesday, April 14

As local businesses implement furloughs and layoffs, the Center for People in Need is seeing a definite increase in demand. More than 325 new families signed up for Center services in a span of three weeks. Now, the Center is distributing food to more than 1,100 families per week, and the numbers continue to rise.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in need, as more and more people come to our drive-thru distribution,” said Steve Sheridan, the Center’s deputy director. “So far, we’ve seen about 100 new families each week.”

This isn’t unexpected, said Executive Director Chris Funk.

“We knew need would increase,” Funk said. “Projections from Feeding America, a national hunger-relief organization, estimate that across the country, food insecurity will increase 45 percent over the next six months. In Nebraska, that would mean an additional 100,000 hungry people.”

The increase in demand is stretching resources, as the Center’s employees balance their dedication to serving the community with the needs of their own families.

“Transitioning to distributing pre-bagged food in a low-contact drive-thru has been tough,” Sheridan said. “Many of our staff are doing completely different jobs now. But we are dedicated to serving our community through this crisis.”

“We are constantly brainstorming and innovating to ensure we can continue distributing food to our neighbors while protecting the health and wellbeing of our staff,” Funk said.

“If you are struggling to put food on your table right now, come to a Center distribution,” Sheridan said. “There’s too much fear in the world already – how you’re going to feed your family shouldn’t be another.”

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