High inflation rates and supply chain issues are making it more difficult to buy many different things, including food. However, neither factor appears to be taking a drastic toll on the Georgia Food Shelf.

“When our funds start to go down, people just come through,” June Waite said. “Thanksgiving, we had a car company donate 35 turkeys. People have just been real generous with us.”

She and Jolly Bates are two of the volunteers that help operate the Georgia Food Shelf on Route 7 in the back of the Georgia Public Library. The two women are also sisters.

Bates, who keeps the food shelf’s books, says inflation doesn’t seem to be damaging the organization at the moment. However, its available base of supporters may be smaller than it once was.

“Those that can help have helped a lot, lot more in the last two years,” she said. “There was one man from the local area that gave thousands.”

Another benefactor bought several freezer cases. The food shelf uses them for storage of meat and other perishable items.

The spike in demand that the sisters noticed at the onset of the pandemic has moderated somewhat since then. They both say, though, that the food shelf is serving more people now than two years ago.

“We’ve seen people that we haven’t seen in several years come back,” Waite said.

“A lot of times, people think food shelves are for families or large families, but we do have the elderly, and they didn’t get many benefits during the pandemic, so the elderly are hurting,” Bates said.

Supply chain issues don’t seem to be hurting the food shelf’s ability to buy items from local grocery stores — with two apparent exceptions.

“They’ve been pretty stocked,” Waite said. “They’ll be out one week, but then, the next week, they’ve got the product in. The only thing we seem to be running out of is tacos!”

“The funny thing that people keep saying is that they can’t find any cat food,” Bates said. “And we can’t, either! They’re learning to feed their cats, I think, something different.”

Since December is just three days old, November’s inflation rate isn’t available yet from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. However the 6.2% rate in October was the highest in America since November of 1990. The bureau also listed food prices as one of the larger contributors.