Fort Valley food bank suffers from donation shortage

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Fort Valley food pantry is almost out of food.

When your mission is to help others.

"I’m very concerned with the lack of food that’s coming out of here," Craig McKinney, the executive director at the Grace House, said.

It’s tough when you’re the one who needs help.

"Usually I buy a ton of food for $200. $200 doesn’t go far at the grocery store," said McKinney.

Grace House volunteers are filling bags and boxes with food fast. A pace, at one time, McKinney was thrilled about.

"Sometimes we send them out the door with eight or nine cans of food where before we were putting in 22,24 cans of food in each box," McKinney said.

Our cameras were here less than a year ago, shelves that bursted with canned goods, now sit with empty boxes and dust mites.

"We’re going to be forced into cutting out families. I don’t want to do that. That’s not our mission down here, but if the money is not there and the food is not there, I can’t send it out the door as help," said McKinney frustrated thinking about the problem.

The trickle down of supplies from the USDA to community food banks hasn’t helped either.

Stock at the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank, a donor to the Grace House, has also gone down.

"We just do the best we can with what we got when we get it," Ronald Raleigh, the executive director of the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank, said.

A difference in products, directors are hopeful change before the holidays.

"Hopefully by mid-November before the Thanksgiving rush comes around, we’ll have a lot more variety of products that the agencies will be able to choose from and help feed these holiday meals," said Raleigh.

Keeping McKinney from a last resort.

"When we’re out of food, we’re out of food. I have no other alternative than to shut the door and turn people away," McKinney said.

The Grace House isn’t accepting any applications for new families looking to receive food because of the food shortage. McKinney says if the low numbers continue, he’s projecting cutting 200 families from a list of 500 to make ends meet, starting with those who haven’t been to the Grace House recently.

If you’d like to donate, visit the Grace House’s website or their Facebook page.