MARINETTE (NBC 26) — Over the last year, Wisconsinites have been paying a lot more for just about everything from utilities to groceries.
As a result, it has been a record-breaking year at the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry in Marinette.
“In 2021 we averaged about 300 visits each month, currently we’re at a 600 visits per month average, with 900 coming in August alone,” said Ashley Berken, St. Vincent de Paul Marinette Executive Director.
Families continue to stock up on everything from food to hygiene products.
Berken said this past year there’s been a lot of new working families, who are struggling to make ends meet.
“There are many reasons why our demand is increasing. First of all grocery costs themselves have been exponentially growing making it harder for working families to afford their grocery budget each month. So that has been the main factor but also things like utility costs and gas prices and other things that are affecting our neighbors in needs budgets,” said Berken.
She also said that while the increase of food pantry visits has been steady throughout the year, even more people started coming this summer after the local Newcap food pantry transitioned to a different location.
“So we’ve been seeing an influx of their clients. From June that was really gasoline to the ever-growing flame that we’ve had in demand. It's hard to say who came from there and what that looked like but that was a big change for us,” said Berken.
One step at a time, Berken and volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul pantry said they will continue to do the best they can to help break food insecurity.
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