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Food banks seeing impact of inflation as food prices rise

food bank shortages
Posted at 2:13 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 14:13:37-04

Second Servings of Houston helps people through hard times.

Founder Barbara Bronstein says steep inflation is putting pressure on the already-strained budgets of seniors and the disabled living on fixed incomes.

"Because they're being squeezed, they don't have money to cover an 8.6% increase in grocery prices," says Bronstein.

Staff and volunteers delivering fresh food at a pop-up grocery store in Houston, Bronstein says are needed now more than ever.

"They also don't have access to transportation or in many cases, nearby supermarket; so, we bring the supermarket to them," says Bronstein.

In Milwaukee, people are shopping smarter.

"I go out and wholesale and maybe buy half of a cattle or a whole beef and have them process that so I can have food for an entire year," said Paskel, a local shopper.

In Colorado Springs, restaurant owners of Urban Tandoor have added a 5% inflation fee, found at the bottom of every receipt. 

"Our food cost from before COVID to now has doubled," said Prit Kaur of Urban Tandoor.

Experts say high costs are part of a domino effect in the supply chain. 

"When fuel went up from $2 to $4, that adds a cost at every step of the way—all the way from the field to the plate," said Helley Mayer, Executive Director at Professional Dairy Producers.

According to a U.S.D.A. report, all food prices are expected to go up between 4.5% and 5.5% percent this year. Poultry is trending even higher, expected to increase between 6% and 7%.

Dairy, between 4% to 5%. Closed in by the highest increase in goods in 40 years-- it's a spike that's hurting organizations like Second Servings too. 

"So, where it took $80 to fill up one of our refrigerated vans, it's now taking $120. We're also paying 62% more for our supplies," said Bronstein.

You're probably wondering — when will prices fall?

Economists say that depends largely on the price of fuel, and getting those goods from one place to the next.

It also greatly depends on volatility in the world.

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