Food Bank of Lincoln raises fuel budget amid inflation

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The cost of food and other essentials, such as gas and rent, fall hardest on lower-income households.

Since the beginning of the year, Food Bank of Lincoln programs and partnerships have been serving about 25,000 households to meet food needs.

Now, that number is closer to 33,500.

It has seen a dip in donations, and inflation is attacking on multiple fronts.

Food Bank of Lincoln travels to 16 counties across southeast Nebraska, covering an area of about 9,200 square miles. To serve those communities, the fleet is needing to bump up the budget for fuel.

“It’s a concern,” said John Mabry, the food bank’s vice president of fundraising and engagement. “Just looking at our budget, we’re just starting a new fiscal year, and we know where we believe that our fuel expense alone will be over $75,000 for the year.”

Food Bank of Lincoln had a $65,000 fuel budget for 2021.

The increase at the pump is being felt across the entire food bank fleet, a major factor in budget considerations.

Lincoln Fresh, one of the food bank’s mobile trucks known to bring fresh goods around the city, will need to be factored into the new budget, too.

“Our trucks are all over our 16 counties from our Lincoln Fresh truck that’s doing fresh veggies and goodies all in Lincoln to our trucks that go over to our rural communities,” Mabry said. “We’re in Tecumseh today. That’s a pretty good little trip, you know, and that’s going to cost a few bucks at the gas pump.”

Donors and partners are feeling the squeeze of inflation as well, causing many to adjust and give less to the food bank.

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