Alexandria, Virginia-Located in Fairfax, Virginia, the Food Pantry serves as the lifeline of Mandy Resinos in a constant effort to feed three children.
“They help fill some of my food budget holes by giving me meat and produce that I can’t afford,” Resinos picked up some grocery boxes at Food for Others. It was.
That need is due, among other things, to rising food prices, one of the most widely perceived indicators of rising inflationary pressure in the United States, blaming widespread labor shortages, rising transportation costs and supply chain problems. It’s getting worse.
Food prices have risen by an average of 3.5% compared to last year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meat prices today are at record highs, and food costs are not expected to fall anytime soon.
Jason Jakbowski, CEO of Connecticut Food Bank, said the soaring prices “makes families more difficult because suddenly they can’t buy more than they used to.” explained.
Rising prices are affecting not only economically deprived families, but also food banks and relief groups that provide groceries.
Alison Padget, Director of Development and Outreach for Food for Others, said: “Economists say prices will be higher for at least a year, so we need to rethink our purchasing decisions.”
“We’re already spending far more food than in the last few years,” said Greg Trotter, spokesman for the large food bank Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Our food purchase budget has doubled this year.”
Some food bank and pantry customers say that without them, government food aid is only so far advanced and it would be difficult to eat enough.
Naomi Cherino, a frequent client of Food for Others, said she received government food aid and federal incentives during the pandemic. Still, she said it was difficult to find enough money to support her family.
“I have two growing teenagers who eat a lot,” she said.
Stimulation money spent
When the stimulus runs out, food aid groups are worried about a new influx of hungry people seeking help.
Founded in 1967, St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona is recognized as the world’s first food bank. Nonprofits distribute food to hundreds of partner agencies throughout Arizona that serve hungry people. (Courtesy-St. Mary’s Food Bank)
“People may have a little more cash thanks to government grants, but federal funding,” Jerry Brown, spokeswoman for St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, told VOA. “There may be problems in the future,” he added.
The problem has already begun at the New Jersey community food bank, which covers most of the Mid-Atlantic. Impact leader Triada Stampas said the “sticker shock” at the grocery store has served more clients than it was during the pandemic’s heyday.
According to program director Carlos Roldan, the financial burden is clear even among those served by the father of the English Food Pantry in Paterson, NJ.
“Many customers lose their jobs during the pandemic, and those who are employed pay only the minimum wage,” Roldan said. “And when they go to the grocery store, they don’t have enough money to buy everything they need.”
Mixed images for now
But the picture is far from uniform. Some relief groups say that rising food prices have not yet had a significant impact on them. This is because the donor continues to supply most of the food, or the supplies have already been purchased in large quantities and will last for months.
Volunteers from the Mississippi Food Network and Tyson Foods load onions and other food into vehicles in Forrest, Mississippi. Supplies were distributed to more than 300 families in April 2021. (Courtesy: Mississippi Food Network)
“But we already know that price fluctuations will have an immediate impact,” said Kelly Mott, director of foreign affairs at Mississippi Food Network. “We are in the process of buying turkeys for Thanksgiving holidays in November, and because they are so expensive, we are especially for families with children who depend on us. Can’t buy more than usual. “
Soaring food prices are a “warning sign” that food insecurity could rise further in the United States, one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of agricultural products, Stampas said.
The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity, and rising prices are now even more difficult for people who are “difficult to get food to the table,” she said.
Fearing rising U.S. food bank prices influences the mission to feed the poor
Source link Fearing rising U.S. food bank prices influences the mission to feed the poor