Food Bank of Lincoln sees increase in food from USDA following tariffs

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In the last fiscal year, the Food Bank of Lincoln collected more than a million pounds of food from the USDA. That's more than double the amount they collected from the USDA last year, and the food bank anticipates the need for food to keep growing in the next several years.

According to Scott Young, the Executive Director of the Food Bank of Lincoln, the USDA has spent $1 billion buying commodity foods in the U.S. due to tariffs.

"It's a complex situation; it's hurting some, but helping food banks and the people we serve," said Young. "One of our concerns right now in 2019 is, we think the next couple of years are going to be very difficult for low-income people. We continue to look for ways to distribute food and shorten the lines a little bit."

This all comes as the food bank continues its September Hunger Action Month campaign. The food bank says there are nearly 19,000 food insecure children in southeast Nebraska and 82,000 food-insecure children throughout the state. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity in Nebraska. Young said there is still hunger in Nebraska, and that it is a year-round problem.

In addition to seeing an increase in food, the food bank said they are looking for ways to better meet the needs of the community.

"We're looking at how do we construct a facility that will continue to support all of our efforts in a safe and timely manner," added Young.

The food bank is renting two spaces in town and has coolers and freezers that are 22 years old. The food bank said they are considering relocation.