Out of 200 food banks surveyed across the country in recent months, 45 percent said they have seen more people in need of services, according to Feeding America, which describes itself as a “nationwide hunger-relief charity.”
“With food costs rising at their fastest rate in decades, we’re seeing many families that were already barely keeping their heads above water are now increasingly and more frequently relying on food pantries,” CEO of the New York food bank City Harvest Jilly Stephens told DailyMail.com.
President of Utah Food Bank Ginette Bott told the outlet inflation is having the same negative effect as the coronavirus pandemic and has “stretched out clients’ budgets even tighter.” Bott added that higher gas prices have doubled her organization’s fuel costs, “squeezing both sides of the emergency food assistance equation.”
Pam, a Colorado food bank director, says they are seeing “significantly higher numbers” of families now than they did “all throughout COVID.” pic.twitter.com/ZeAFM5W2TM
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 2, 2022
Stories from local media affiliates have been popping up around the country of food banks struggling to meet the increased demand.
Workers at Volunteers of America’s Everett food bank in Washington State said “they’ve never seen the shelves so empty,” K5, an NBC affiliate reported this week. The organization, which provides food to 17 food banks across Snohomish County, contends the need is greater than during pandemic, exploding by 138 percent. In response, the organization is “being forced to ration food for the first time ever.”
On Tuesday, Director of Angels Community Outreach in Piman, New Jersey, told Fox News that she had to temporarily close her food pantry for the first time because it ran out of food. The founder of Feeding Denver’s Hungry in Colorado told 9News that out of the people who signed up for next month, “43 percent are new clients that we’ve never seen before.”
In Savannah, Georgia, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia told WSAV that it saw a 40 percent increase in food distributed to the community from June to July.
“The Coastal Workers Food Drive usually brings in about 90,000 pounds, this year it only brought in around 15,000 pounds, so that was a really big hit on us, as well as our food costs have gone up,” said Mary Jane Crouch, Executive Director of Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.
“We have additional costs related to our transportation, we have 10 to 12 trucks that go out every day to all these different locations to deliver food, to pick up food, to bring food back to the food bank, so when those costs go up it impacts us greatly on what we’re able to do,” she added.
Inflation rose to an annual rate of 9.1 percent in June, according to the Department of Labor — higher than the 8.8 percent expected. Grocery prices were up 12.2 percent compared to last year, and gasoline prices jumped 11.2 percent in June compared with May, for a 59.9 percent year-over-year increase. As Breitbart News reported, the increase in core inflation was broad-based, “suggesting inflation is becoming deeply entrenched.”
As a result, four in ten Americans report cutting back on everyday habits and items, including the amount of groceries they purchase, a recent survey from Suffolk University/USA TODAY found. A Golden/TIPP Poll from July also found that one in five Americans skip meals and rely on food banks due to rising food prices.
Notably, soaring grocery and gasoline prices and floundering food banks run contrary to a health goal of President Joe Biden’s White House: to “end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030.”