Gas price hike hurting Central Florida food banks, pantries

The gas price hike is hurting Central Florida food banks, food pantries, and its volunteers.

Good Samaritan Outreach picks up food from Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and delivers it to families in need. But, the president of the organization says the gas price increase has cost them some of their volunteers.

"We used to have volunteers that used to use their own car and gas because of gas going up we lost a lot of volunteers to help us," said David Torres of Good Samaritan Outreach.

It's put a strain on the organization, but Torres said it won't stop them from delivering food.

"Instead of using the money for more food we have to use the money for gas," said Torres. "We got to keep going people are in need of food especially now."

Greg Higgerson of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has seen more people looking for help in the last two weeks.

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"Thousands of low-income families who are barely making it ahead of this, are now at that tipping point where ‘can I fill up the car to get to work? Maybe I need to ask for food assistance?’" said Higgerson.

Higgerson said the cost to fill up their food delivery trucks has gone up about 20% costing them $12,000 a week to pick up the food for families in need.

"Food banking depends on the moving of food, and we’re picking up from 400 grocery stores every week which is 2,000 gallons," said Higgerson.

The big increase in fuel prices wasn't expected or budgeted for.

"It’s not something we were able to plan for that far in advance," said Higgerson. "We have the rest of the fiscal year to get through here, and it’s going to be a challenge."

If you'd like to help you can donate to Second Harvest. And, if you're interested in volunteering for Good Samaritan Outreach you can reach out to them here.

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