RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)- With the limited supply of donations and volunteers, local food banks are noticing an increase in demand.

The increase was originally due to the pandemic but now since inflation – a lot of families are having a hard time putting food on their tables.

Distribution centers across the central and eastern parts of North Carolina are seeing a 10- to 15-percent increase in new families needing assistance with groceries.

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves 34 counties and works with 800 distribution centers.

Now grocery prices have gone up 10.8 percent from a year ago, the largest 12-month increase since November 1980, according to a CBS News report.

This increase is caused a lot of families to count their coins.

Jessica Whichard, serves as the vice president of communication and public policy for the food bank and says they saw a 40 percent increase during the pandemic.

And based on conversations with distributors, that number is increasing.

“One of the things that we know, when an economic crisis hits, is that there is a lot of new folks to the hunger relief system who are finding the pantries that we work with and finding the soup kitchens,” Whichard said.

Flour and meats are among the other grocery items going up commanding more from families in the markets.

“Folks are saying they’re having to make tough choices about rent, about gas, about paying for groceries and trying to make ends meet with the budget that they have,” Whichard said.

Long lines nearly fill the parking lots for some distribution centers like Urban Ministries for assistance.

Nick Robertson is the director and said this has been one of their busiest days. He blames the pandemic and inflation.

“Smaller food pantries and organizations are having trouble feeding the families that they normally had an easier time feeding,” Robertson said.

Every car that pulled up got a box of fresh produce, milk, and eggs.

Along with other items. However, Robertson said they’ve had to rearrange their standard operating system of giving to provide for all.

“Feeding people 65 and under once every three months, 65 and older every month. We’ve gone from that to feeding everybody once a week. So we have burnt through our inventory,” he shared.

Argie Ellis drives 40 minutes every Thursday to pick up fresh food and groceries to take back and deliver to a community of people who live in the rural parts of Johnston County.

“We’ve been doing this for about five years now. Some of them were not getting as many vegetables and if they did it was a few caned items here and there. But to get it fresh from the box, that just really tickles them a lot,” Ellis said.

Supply chain issues have forced many groups of agencies to look for other ways to help. Whether that’s working together to provide food to families.

As we approach the summer months, the Food Bank is already ramping on and preparing for their “Kids Summer Meals,” program. A similar program ran by other agencies as well.

Whichard said they are constantly looking for volunteers and donations from the community. If you would like to help or donate, click here.

To see which food bank is near you, click here.