ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Prices are up just about everywhere: in the grocery store, at the gas station, and in the clothing department. But the Food Bank of the Southern Tier wants those in need to know that it’s continuing work to make sure its pantry shelves are still stocked.

The Food Bank isn’t immune to the impact of skyrocketing inflation. Compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic numbers), the Food Bank has seen a 10% increase in requests for food, according to Major Giving Officer Mary Jane Bray.

But the organization isn’t slowing down its efforts to ensure those that need food can still get it.

“We are doing a lot of work with strengthening our relationships with all of our pantries across the Southern Tier,” said Bray. She added that the Food Bank is also providing educational guidance to pantries so they know how best to serve the community. Plus, the Food Bank is able to take advantage of fresh produce coming from local farms during the summer months.

The government’s consumer price index jumped 9.1% for the 12 months ending in June 2022. This translates to costs rising by double-digit percentages. Eggs are up 33% and breakfast sausage is up 14%, for example. And the prices might stick around for a while.

“To the people who need food: the Food Bank is here to help,” said Bray. “And for people who are taking their time to donate—whether is’t their time or their dollars—thank you. It is being well spent.”

Bray said anyone in need can call 211 to find out when and how to access food near where you live.