Food banks across Iowa continue to struggle with an increased demand to provide food for those in need. Ozzie Ohl of the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank in Mason City, says donations are down while demand is rising. He says the donations were down during the holiday season, and since November when the cuts in the food stamp program took effect, they’ve added more than 400 new people each month.
Ohl says they are seeing a variety of people coming in needing assistance. He says with some of the water main breaks and with some people being unemployed, there are people truly struggling through no fault of their own, so they are dependent on the food bank.
Ohl says they are always looking for donations, with monetary donations being the best. He says they accept all donations, but they are able to maximize cash contributions much more effectively since they can buy things through the Food Bank of Iowa at 14-cents a pound.
Things that cannot be purchased through the Food Bank of Iowa can be purchased through local grocery stores in bulk amounts at a discounted cost.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)