CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Costs for goods are going up, and the calendar inches closer to the holidays, suggesting hunger pains may return for families still suffering from the pandemic’s economic fallout.

After several summer months of a slight downturn in demand, the Chesterfield Food Bank reported an uptick of families in need.

Facilities Manager Bill Palmer said several hundred less families arrived to the central food bank location on Iron Bridge Road just after the final federal stimulus payments were issued. But while cash doesn’t last forever, the need to put food on the table does. And donations right now? They’re badly needed.

Palmer said the problems of the pandemic have not improved. “They haven’t,” he said.

“It’s actually worse now than it was three months ago.” “…I don’t know, I can’t explain it”

Food bank volunteers continue to put their hearts behind carts of food; roughly 60 people worked to load shopping carts carrying dry food, meat and vegetables into the trunks of idling vehicles Friday night during a distribution event.

“They’re looking for money, looking for food, they’re looking for everything,” Steve Allgeier, a veteran volunteer said.

“We are normally doing around 400, 500 [families] and change. We expect a record today. We’re prepared for around 700 families,” Allgeier said.

Flashback one year ago, 8News drone video showed hundreds of cars parked at the food bank. Based on turnout Friday, not much has changed.

Palmer said supermarket chains like Kroger, Walmart, Publix and others provide their excess supply to the food bank, but donations from residents are always accepted.

It’s the backbone of a new goal: 100,000 pounds of food by Dec.16. However, there is plenty of ground to cover considering 20,000 to 30,000 pounds are on-hand today.

“Everybody likes giving at Thanksgiving. So, we’re hoping to get a lot more.” “…We’re not even close to where we need to be,” Palmer said.