Open Door Mission’s food donations down amid inflation

Changes to services follow
With inflation, it's getting harder to get into the spirit of giving. Unfortunately, our local shelters are feeling the pinch.
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - With inflation, it’s getting harder to get into the spirit of giving. Unfortunately, local shelters are feeling it too. And with donations down, changes must be made.

“We are really concerned about the food crisis in our community,” said Candace Gregory, president of Open Door Mission.

Open Door Mission adjusted its holiday services in response to a decrease in donations that the president believes is being brought on by inflation.

“When you don’t have those donations, you have to re-evaluate everything you offer,” said Gregory.

The shelter offers Thanksgiving and Christmas programming to feed those in need. Both to-go bags of food and on-campus dinners.

This year, they’re limiting how many people they serve and the hours they do so.

Last year anyone 18 and younger got Christmas food. This year it’s just 12 and under.

“92% of our food is donated, but our donations are down by 10%,” she said. “We just feel that we will not have the donations to actually expand into the teenage years.”

But even in these hard times, some families still find it in their hearts and wallets to donate food, like the Larsen’s.

“Most people know when they’re being called to do something. It’s really just a matter of responding to that, actually doing it,” said Bill Larsen.

Chris Larsen, his wife, was walking in Costco when she heard that calling, a calling of the tomato variety.

“She just happened to go down that aisle and saw that they were $1.97, regularly $9. And said, ‘Hey Bill, what do you think? Can Open Door Mission use that? I think they can,’” said Bill Larsen.

They bought and delivered 600 pounds of tomatoes. That’ll go a long way for Open Door’s holiday preparations. But they need more generous donations like the Larsen’s.

“People usually give from their discretional income. And my concern as a leader is I think there’s going to be less discretionary income available for individuals and families as they actually pay for their basic needs,” said Gregory.

“Anyone who feels the nudge or feels the urge to go out and donate food, please follow that and give to other people. The need is there,” said Chris Larsen.

There’s still time to donate for the holidays.

The Open Door Mission welcomes all forms of donations, monetary and food donations. You can drop them off at one of their three locations in Timberlake, Elkhorn, and Council Bluffs.

If a donation isn’t possible, the organization is always looking for a helping hand.