Pet food bank staff at The Washington Pet Food Bank are struggling to get by after a food shortage caused by Hurricane Sandy forced the closing of two of their four food distribution centers in the District.
The center in Alexandria has been closed since Friday and staff members are still struggling to figure out how to access their food, said Jennifer Smith, the food bank’s chief operating officer.
Smith said she had heard about the food shortage and was not aware of the specific cause but said the food pantries in the city were operating on a tight schedule due to the storm.
The food bank has three centers in Alexandria, one in the D.C. suburbs and one in Virginia Beach.
The Food Pantries of America is working to reopen in the metro area, Smith said.
The shortage at the Food Pantry of America in Alexandria was caused by the storm, Smith told The Washington Post on Monday.
A spokesman for the Food Bank of America of Northern Virginia said the facility’s food is now available to those who can pay.
The Washington Pantry has two locations in the DC area, but it is not yet operational, said Julie Soto, a spokeswoman.
The city of Alexandria has three food pantry locations, one each in Arlington, Arlington and Washington, D. C. The pantries have been closed in the wake of the storm and are now open.
Soto said the Food Assistance Center in Alexandria opened on Oct. 11 after a five-year hiatus due to budget cuts.
She said the center is now closed due to funding constraints and a shortage of food.
Food banks have been operating since the 1970s, Soto added.
The federal government has set up a food panting program in the nation’s capital that provides food to low-income households, homeless people and low-wage earners.
The program has been operating in the Capital District since 2012.
In a statement on Monday, the Capital Region Department of Emergency Management said: “The Capital Region has made progress in addressing the shortage of affordable pet food in the community.
We have been working to find solutions to help our community stay on track with the needs of pets, including the food banks and shelters.
The Department is encouraging all members of the community to participate in this effort, which will allow us to continue to meet the needs and increase the efficiency of the food distribution program.
We are in the process of providing a list of available pantries and food banks that will be able to assist those in need.”
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