COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Mid-Ohio Food Collective said the demand for food is the highest it’s seen in years ahead of this holiday weekend.

Representatives said the demand has increased by about 30% over the same time last year, and that around 45% of those the pantry has helped in the last few months are completely new to the system.

The Mid-Ohio Food Collective said these levels are higher than seen during some parts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collective representatives said reasons for the increase include inflation and some COVID relief programs ending.

“What we are seeing right now is really just all of the things that have been happening over the last couple years, including the current state of inflation, that has been driving this because we have been seeing these numbers grow steadily all year,” said Mid-Ohio Food Collective spokesperson Malik Perkins.

The Mid-Ohio Food Collective is always accepting both food and monetary donations. Every dollar it receives will help purchase around $5 in groceries for someone in need this holiday season.