Supply chain issues also affecting food banks in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Supply chain delays continue to be a problem all across the country affecting everything from retail businesses, to organizations that help feed the hungry.

News10NBC talked to Foodlink to find out how the food bank is dealing with shipping delays, and increased costs.

Foodlink Director of Operations Morgan McKenzie says Foodlink is basically in good shape thanks to some strategic planning, but their food bank, and community kitchen has seen some operational impacts over the past several weeks.

Like the rest of the country, Foodlink is experiencing a disruption in the supply chain as well. McKenzie tells us they had to tap into their purchasing budget to deal with the increase cost of food.

"We’re seeing anywhere from 5, 10, upwards of 15-percent, but we’re just you know fighting through it making sure that we have everything we need," said McKenzie.

She goes on to say thankfully Foodlink’s situation is not as dire compared to other agencies. Not only did Foodlink plan ahead in anticipation of higher food costs, but the food bank has a contract with the USDA, and is also a part of Nourish New York.

"So we’re able to source local proteins and produce, and things of that nature," said McKenzie. She continued, "We got smart, ordered ahead in June so we see no disruptions for our holiday program at all. That’s in house already."

We asked McKenzie what’s hard to get right now?

"Chicken in particular which I’m sure a lot of people see at the grocery store, and outside of that some things are hard to get in quantities that we need," said McKenzie.

This has led to some changes in their kitchen operation.

"We’ve had to make some menu changes because of increased food costs. The cost of our food still outpaces our federal reimbursement rates. So we’ve gotten creative in doing menu changes, or just completely not being able to get quantities that we need in the amount," said McKenzie.

She also has this message for families that are afraid of going hungry this holiday season.

"Foodlink has a warehouse full of food. We have all of our holiday stuff in house. as I mentioned we planned ahead so we are ready to roll with our holiday season with no disruptions," said McKenzie.

Meanwhile, as thousands of cargo ships remain outside of coastal ports waiting to be unloaded, there’s still a shortage of truck drivers to haul these products from the ports.