HONOLULU (KHON2) — Food banks across Hawaii are short on supply and The Food Basket on Hawaii Island called it the perfect storm.

Inflation, high costs and a strained federal program is leaving local food banks scrambling for donations.

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The Food Basket is down to a few days supply and the Hawaii Island non-profit said pandemic demand left the federal emergency food program with too much to deal with.

“And there’s some supply chain breaks and so it’s put a lot of pressure on us to try and find other ways to get food,” said Kristin Frost Albrecht, The Food Basket executive director. “As you know, the prices have gone way up and that means that the people we serve, the numbers have gone way up too.”

“People keep saying it’s the perfect storm, it actually is the perfect storm.”

Kristin Frost Albrecht, The Food Basket executive director

The Food Basket served 14,000 people per month pre-pandemic. That number was up to 84,000 at the peak.

“So, that’s come down somewhat as things have gotten better and people have gone back to work, but we’re still serving about 50,000 people a month,” Albrecht said.

The Food Basket said they have already started cutting back; one canned good for those who would normally get two. There are ways to help, click here to donate to The Food Basket.

There is a similar problem at the Maui Food Bank.

“Food costs have just skyrocketed,” said Maui Food Bank executive director Rich Yust, “15, 20, 30% on some items and it can really take its toll on families on tight budgets.”

Yust said the number of people they are helping has also gone up since the pandemic began.

“Pre-pandemic, roughly 10,000 a month,” Yust said, “and currently we’re up to 12 to 13,000 a month.

The Hawaii Foodbank said their numbers are about 50% higher than 2019, but there is hope. The USDA recently approved over $1 billion in funding for food banks and school meal programs.

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“We don’t know exactly what the impact will be on Hawaii in terms of how those dollars will flow through, but $1.5 billion into the system from USDA should have a pretty significant impact,” said Amy Martin, Hawaii Foodbank’s president and CEO.