How the food shortage is affecting OneGenAway

Two pallet jacks sit beside empty blue wooden pallets, and shelves along a wall in the OneGenAway warehouse sit empty.
The shelves in the OneGenAway warehouse are emptier than normal due to the current food shortage and rising costs. We are working hard to adjust our processes to continue to serve our communities well.

Whether by the emptier-than-normal grocery store shelves or the changing menus in restaurants, you have probably noticed something is going on with the food supply in the U.S. Actually, there’s something going on with the food supply globally.

Food prices have reached record highs this year. In the majority of countries worldwide, inflation levels have risen above 5%.1 This has led to global food shortages and increased costs for food suppliers and consumers alike.

For the U.S., consumer prices rose 9.1% overall from June 2021 to June 2022.2 For groceries, that price increase was 12.2%.3

The World Bank notes that multiple factors, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, supply chain issues, and other continued fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, are contributing to these food supply issues. The Washington Post has also reported food supply issues connected to extreme weather conditions and worker shortages globally.4

How does this impact One Generation Away?

Well, at OneGenAway, about half of the food we provide to our community is rescued. While food may become rescuable for many reasons (see previous blog: When does food need to be rescued?), much of the food we rescue results from a simple surplus.

What we are seeing in the current food shortage is that grocery stores are simply buying less. Before the shortage, a store may have allowed for a certain amount of surplus to ensure a product would never (or rarely) go out of stock. But now, there is simply not enough food (or the food is too expensive) to continue stocking in this way. Many stores have shrunk their margins considerably, allowing certain foods to come closer to selling out before restocking the shelves.

As a result, there is less of a surplus for OneGenAway to rescue. On the one hand, from a food waste standpoint, this is great news! On the other hand, OneGenAway is having to purchase more food than normal — and as we’ve mentioned, food prices are on a steep incline.

OneGenAway purchases food from food suppliers and other food rescue organizations. Our partnering food rescue organizations are facing the same issues as we are, and their warehouse shelves are running low.

Thus, we come back to the issue at hand, one that we are experiencing right alongside the communities we serve: acquiring the amount of food we need is getting more and more expensive every month!

At OneGenAway, we are dedicated to bringing the community together to support one another in times of need. And as an organization, we depend on support from our community as well to continue pursuing our mission of sharing hope, honor, and dignity through food.

If you find yourself in a time of plenty rather than a time of need, we humbly ask for you to consider a partnership with OneGenAway. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Make a monthly contribution: Whether it’s $5 a month or $500 a month, every bit helps!
  • Talk to your employer about a corporate sponsorship: You can find out more about sponsorship opportunities on our website at www.OneGenAway.com/donate or email our Director of Development, Elaine Whitney, at [email protected].
  • Donate food items: We are in particular need of canned beans, canned soups, canned meats, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, cereal or oatmeal, pasta, and pasta sauce.