The prolonged drought in the Midwest and southeastern United States may feel like it's far away, but Kathy Mullen sees the result of the drought every day.
"This is a very scary sight for us," she says, referring to the empty shelves inside the Suncoast Harvest Food Bank. "This particular bank in Land O' Lakes serves four counties which are Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Citrus."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture sends surplus corn, wheat, soy beans and other crops to food banks around the country.
"There just isn't going to be surplus, we already know it. They're already telling us," Debbi McCarthy of Feeding America Tampa Bay explained.
Nationally, Feeding America reports more than 65 percent of their food bank executive directors fear a significant decrease in food supply and an increase in demand because of the drought. In Pasco County, Feeding America reports 78,000 people, 26,000 of whom are children, are considered food insecure.
"Food insecurity is a term that means a person does not know where they're going to get their next meal," McCarthy explained. "If I'm having lunch, I wonder will there be a dinner in my future?"
Typically, donations to food banks begin to pick up as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. Thanksgiving is more than ten weeks away.
"We would like the holidays to start early," Mullen said. It is possible -- Feeding America has launched a food drive it hopes will produce more than one million meals in the Bay Area. To donate, visit www.feedingamericatampabay.org or call 813-254-1190 or the Suncoast Harvest Food Bank at 813-929-0200 or at www.suncoastharvest.org
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?