Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How Does the Price of Diesel Affect Hunger?

High prices at the pump this summer are hurting everyone with a gas tank, including the rising number of low-income Texans forced to turn to emergency feeding programs for help.

However, it's also hurting the helpers. In Austin, the Capital Area Food Bank is facing longer lines with fewer donations in hand, according to KXAN and the Austin American-Statesman, in part due to the gas pinch hitting would-be donors. "Some families that may have provided donations earlier in the year, because of the change in our economy they are actually seeking assistance," said Food Bank CEO David Davenport.

In Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle, donations are remaining level but the costs of transporting charitable food are rising. Many people forget how much diesel it takes to haul 35 million pounds of food, the amount distributed last year by the Houston Food Bank. Brian Greene, president of the Food Bank, said this year's cost to fuel the agency's 19-vehicle fleet will be about $160,000 — a 50 increase over two years ago.

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