Houston, Texas – The nonprofit organization Feeding America says research shows Americans' paychecks aren't keeping up with the prices of essential goods.
Currently, around one in seven people suffers from food insecurity, according to government figures.
Restaurant owners work to end food insecurity during the holiday season
Jen Mugia of the Seattle Ballard Food Bank says it has become much more expensive to operate a food bank. “It's not only affecting the shoppers, but also us who are buying food. It's costing us more to buy food,” Mujia said.
She said food banks need to buy more food to meet demand.
“For us, we're seeing an increase that's more than double what we were before the pandemic. And we saw an even bigger increase in February or March when the one-time benefits were rolled back,” Muzzia said. Ta.
Thousands of miles away, food banks in Houston, Texas, are reporting similar problems, and it's not just because of rising food prices.
Brian Greene is the president of the Houston Food Bank. He said inflation plays a role in several ways.
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“While food inflation is currently only around 3%, rent inflation is over 7%. And for low-income and working households, rent can account for around 50% or more of income. . So, as these costs continue to rise, money doesn't work out as well and food tends to be a flexible expense,” Green said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an additional 13.5 million people will become food insecure in 2021-2022.
Feeding America's Vince Hall said the increase is due to the end of emergency pandemic aid.
Rising inflation is causing food insecurity for working families as food banks struggle to meet demand
“It is estimated that approximately 50 million people visited food banks seeking assistance in the past year. The federal and state governments have reduced almost all the assistance that was available to people during the pandemic to just around the corner due to inflation. “We canceled it at a time when it was very much underway, and it was going to disappear from their income,” Hall said.
Vince Hall of Feeding America says the only solution is more volunteers and donations.
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“They can donate money, donate food, donate their time, donate their voice and strengthen the message that hunger is a solvable problem.” said Hall.
Feeding America says food banks not only see more foot traffic during the holidays, but also more volunteers and donations.