December 18, 2023
Isthmus covers rising demand at Dane County food pantries
Isthmus recently reported that Madison food pantries are seeing a steep increase in visitors this year as rent increases, inflation, and the expiration of federal COVID assistance programs push more people in our community to the brink of financial instability.
The article includes an interview with Leslie Albrecht Huber, strategic engagement director for WayForward. “For us it’s record demand, more than any time in our 40-year history,” Huber told Isthmus. “The past year we have seen a very significant increase in need for both food and housing assistance.”
Huber also shared the steep increase in monthly visits to WayForward’s pantry, which have tripled since January 2022. She noted several factors contributing to the rise including the expiration of COVID-era assistance programs and the rent increases occurring in the Madison area.
Some seeking assistance report $100 to $200 increases as their lease renews, she said. “That hundred or two hundred is a game changer,” she told the newspaper. “When people are putting more and more income into staying in their home, there’s very little left for food.”
Read more in the online version of the article that appears in this month’s issue of Isthmus.