Nearly half of U.S. food banks describe growing numbers of people queuing for alms, as inflation puts pantry basics out of reach and the agency’s eight-year anti-hunger plan Biden administration unblocks.
Households across the United States have told DailyMail.com sky-high grocery prices have driven them to pantries for help. Even food bank organizers said inflation was driving up costs and hampering their ability to help.
The high inflation rate of 9.1% over 40 years has put the basics of butter to steaks out of reach for many and undermined President Joe Biden’s bid to eliminate hunger and improve diets and physical activity levels in the United States by 2030.
Pat Young, 64, a retired home nurse, turned to the St John’s Bread and Life program in Brooklyn, New York this month as inflation pushed pantry basics over the edge of its annual disability income budget of less than $30,000 per year.
“It’s really become a challenge to eat healthy and cope,” Young told DailyMail.com.
For Young, the weekly packages of milk, juice, corn, turkey, canned fruit, beans and rice are a godsend. Yet high energy bills leave her sitting at home in the dark, without air conditioning in the summer heat, missing her favorite fruity treat – cherries.
US President Joe Biden visited a food bank in Houston, Texas in February. The White House wants to end nationwide hunger by 2030, but soaring 9.1% inflation is forcing more and more people to get help to get by
“You’d be surprised how many more people are eligible to use the pantry,” Young said. “Because the economy is doing so badly, even a lot of workers are falling into the lower socioeconomic bracket.”
She is not alone. Feeding America, a national charity, says 45% of food banks have seen an increase in demand in recent months of high inflation, typically with 10% more recipients asking for help.
Pat Young, 64, a retired home nurse, turned to a food bank as inflation pushed pantry basics beyond her budget
Jilly Stephens, CEO of City Harvest, another New York food bank, said 90% of its recipients expected to rely more on donations this year as inflation drove up the price by a dozen or so. eggs over a dollar.
“With food costs rising at their fastest rate in decades, we are seeing many families who were already barely keeping their heads above water now relying more and more frequently on food pantries,” said Stephens told DailyMail.com.
Ginette Bott, president of the Utah Food Bank, said inflation had an impact as powerful as the Covid-19 pandemic and had “stretched our customers’ budgets even further.”
A 60% rise in gasoline prices nationwide had doubled her organization’s fuel costs and “squeezed both sides of the emergency food aid equation”, she said. added.
The same goes for California, where Feeding America Riverside San Bernardino President Carolyn Solar said her organization’s fuel bills have risen from $17,664 in 2021 to $34,460 this year.
As inflation bites, 21% of Americans have turned to food banks, according to a Tipp Insights poll this month. About half of respondents were switching to less expensive store brands and foregoing big-ticket items like meat.
Almost a quarter were simply skipping meals.
According to the Department of Agriculture, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States do not get enough food to lead active and healthy lives – a 2020 figure that many expect increase in the next update.
The spike in food prices comes after state governments ended Covid-19 disaster rules that boosted benefits for some 40 million food stamp recipients, and after a program of Trump-era food purchase and distribution in 2021.
The Biden administration says it wants to end hunger and improve diets and general health nationwide by 2030 so that fewer people succumb to diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other lifestyle diseases.
The White House did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on the growing demand for pantries.
A White House statement this month spoke of a ‘whole-of-government strategy to end hunger’ and fight disease and plans for a hunger and nutrition conference, hosted by Biden, to chart a roadmap. 50 year road to solve the problem.
Democrats are touting a tax reform and climate finance bill to fight inflation as a solution to high prices, but it’s unclear whether it will get enough votes in the Senate or reduce inflation in the United States. coming months.
DailyMail.com has researched the prices of everyday items and calculated how much they would cost if inflation remained at the Federal Reserve’s 2% target rate – not the meteoric rises we saw last year – to find out how much additional consumers are currently paying
Community volunteers sift through and sort produce at a food bank in Houston, Texas earlier this year as food prices rose due to labor shortages, transportation issues and supply chain challenges
US inflation hit 9.1% in June, the highest since 1981 and above what the economist predicted
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