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Local food bank affected by midwest drought

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Updated: 9/18/2012 11:52 pm
        JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- You've been to the grocery store recently, so you know food prices are sky high. The prices are up because of the recent drought in the Midwest, and local food banks are getting hit the hardest.
        More than 342,000 people in Northeast Florida depend on Second Harvest for their next meal. But when most of the country is experiencing a drought, it may be hard to meet that need.

        Second Harvest Food Procurement Director Elliot Darkatsh says, "Each season farms get affected and accordingly everywhere down the supply chain gets affected." And it's the same with crops.
        Corn is the main crop suffering from the lack of rain, but everything that uses or incorporates corn will also be affected. "It's going to affect all commodities. So not just corn, but dairy and soy and so forth," says Darkatsh. And, of course, the rarer the commodity, the pricier it gets.
        "We also buy food directly from manufacturers and that's going to increase the cost of products as well as donations are going to decrease as well because there's going to be less available," he says.
        Which means a harder time for those one in six adults and one in four children who don't know where their next meal will come from. Darkatsh says, "It will get better. Obviously we will get rain at some point that's going to help the drought and help those conditions. But for a season or two it could be really tough."
        Second Harvest needs all the donations it can get. Every dollar donated will provide seven meals to those in need.
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