Bare supermarket shelves leave little left over to feed needy Polk children

KidsPACK, an organization that provides food for needy and homeless children, is in trouble. For years, it has bought 90 percent of its food from suppliers without any problems, but the coronavirus is wreaking havoc.

People are stripping the shelves clean in supermarkets, so suppliers have little or no food left to sell to KidsPACK and other non-profits.
“We have gone through U.S. Food, we have gone through Cisco, we have gone through Sam’s, we have gone through Publix,” explained Patty Strickland, KidsPACK executive director. “Basically what they’re saying is that the quantity you need is not available to you.”

KidsPACK feeds 2,000 kids a week. Each backpack comes with six meals.
KidsPACK is launching food drives because Strickland said the group could run out of food in two weeks if they don’t receive food fast.

The employees of companies such as Badcock Home Furniture and More and Southern Homes have held food drives.
Other drives have been much more humble. “We have had neighborhood peanut butter cracker drives,” Amy Royal, KidsPACK program director.

The response has been great, but replacing pallets after pallet of food is a monumental task and KidsPACK has not yet collected enough to make up for the 90 percent of food it lost.
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