SEATTLE - As a drought is affecting farmers in the Midwest, it has also impacted a local food bank.
Donations at the St. Vincent De Paul food bank on 4th Avenue South have been down by almost half their usual amount due to the worst drought in 50 years.
The food bank is open two days a week and serves 450 people each of the days.
KIRO 7 reporter Essex Porter spoke with a client, John Walz, about the donations.
“It’s very important. It’s been keeping me going for quite a while here now,” said Walz. “Maybe sometimes like more milk or the eggs, things like this, maybe meat once in a while."
The food bank at St. Vincent De Paul is one of 300 food banks served by Food Lifeline, a distributor that provides 35 million pounds of food a year.
“Right now as you can see behind me, there are a lot of empty spots behind me in the racking,” said Food Lifeline Executive Director Linda Nageotte. “All of this should be full; we should be brimming with food right now.”
Food Lifeline usually receives large shipments of produce that doesn’t look good enough to sell in grocery stores.
Shipments used to total 120,000 pounds a day; they have now decreased to 70,000 pounds.
“So many of those products which otherwise would have been donated to the food bank are actually going to become food supply for other states that are in need,” Nageotte said.
Nageotte also told KIRO 7 the effects of the drought will get worse over the upcoming months.