Pastor Ronae Cambridge has been operating a food pantry at Glory Temple in Liberty City for two decades. During the pandemic, they went from serving 400 families per week to 800 families per week.
"We’re a low-income community so the need was already great, but when the pandemic, hit it was just insanity," Pastor Cambridge said.
The pastor says in December and January it became very difficult to secure donations from food banks.
"It was devastating. I was really, really worried sick about how we would meet the demands in the community," Cambridge said.
Farm Share, a food bank in Florida, says during the months leading up to the holidays they saw a 600% increase in demand for food, and they had to increase their production by 250%.
"At times during food distributions when we are used to giving out dairy and produce and protein, we had to pivot to canned goods and dry goods and drinks and other things," said Gil Zepeda, marketing director for Farm Share.
According to Feeding South Florida, the country is experiencing a "commodity cliff," where “food banks across the country are seeing more than a 50% reduction in food supply due to the expiration of the CARES Act funding and USDA's trade mitigation commodity programs.”
The pastor says in March, the situation has improved.