Friday, May 25

Where's all the food?

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that food banks across the country have experienced a drop in food donations - by more than 15 or 20% in some cases.

The food-bank shortages are nationwide. The Community Food Banks of South Dakota in Sioux Falls, S.D., received 35 percent fewer donations from grocery stores last year. The Greater Chicago Food Depository, the nation's fourth-largest food bank in terms of the amount of food distributed, has 12 percent fewer donations this year than last.
Why the drop you might ask?

It is the down side of a drive in recent years by manufacturers and retailers for greater supply-chain efficiency. Toward that end, many food manufacturers began producing food in quantities more closely tailored to individual retail customers' needs. That in turn has reduced the amount of food that gets sold to retailers and ultimately returned to the manufacturers.

At the same time, new technology has helped eliminate production errors such as processing canned food without labels or producing an entire order of cereal boxes using upside-down text.
Foods banks are scrambling to make up for the loss - in some cases turning to perishable food. Safeway says its donations of cash and food to food banks amounted to $110 million last year, up from $109 million the year before.

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