HNewsWire: Families pour into food banks in droves, Inflation has made it difficult for many Americans to feed their families, despite the fact that the US unemployment rate is at its lowest level in decades. Food banks around the country are working longer hours because of this.
On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, a long queue of cars forms outside the St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix to pick up food boxes.Increasing food and energy costs, rising rent, and the termination of government COVID-19 assistance are all adding stress to consumers who are already constrained for cash. The aggregate CPI now stands at 9.1 percent, the highest level in 40 years.
Using an adjusted "misery index," which combines US labor force participation and the Consumer Price Index, this level hasn't been seen since the early 1980s.In this regard, we return to the food queues once again Even when employees returned to work during pandemic shutdowns, food banks are straining to meet the newest demands as government programs offer less food to distribute, grocery store contributions diminish, and monetary gifts don't go nearly as far.
The St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, received hundreds of families on a recent day as they waited outside in long lines of automobiles. John said that his wife and four children had never been to a food bank before since her spouse was able to provide for them all via his construction business.
John, who was traveling with a neighbor to split gas expenses, stated, "But it's absolutely tough to get by anymore without some support." It's "way, way, much too expensive." -AP
Reporters say the same thing happens around the country, and food bank employees are forecasting a "difficult summer" to keep up with the demand.According to Katie Fitzgerald, president and chief operating officer of Feeding America's national food bank network, "it doesn't appear like it's going to get better overnight." Supply issues are becoming more difficult as a result of increasing demand.
Phoenix's primary food bank distribution site served 4,271 people in the third week of June, a 78% increase over the 2,396 families served in same period last year, according to St. Mary's spokesperson Jerry Brown.
As many as 900 households are waiting in line each weekday to get an emergency government food package filled with staples like canned beans and peanut butter. Bread, carrots, and pork chops donated by area stores are included in a gift valued at $75 put together by St. Mary's. -AP
Marketing director Michael Altfest says that the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Northern California has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families served since the beginning of the year, rising from 890 to 1,410 households on the third Friday in June.
An increase from the pre-pandemic level of 500,000 pounds per day to roughly 1 million pounds per day was reported by Paula Murphy, a spokesperson for Houston's food bank, the country's biggest.Similar observations were made by other food bank representatives.
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank CEO Michael Flood remarked, "Many of them are folks who are working and fared OK throughout the epidemic and maybe even saw their pay go up." "This inflation problem sprang out of nowhere."
Alameda County Food Bank's Michael Altfest estimates that 10 percent of the individuals seeking food currently are first-timers, and that a rising percentage of people are arriving on foot rather than in a vehicle.
In addition, supply chain concerns are becoming a problem, as Fitzgerald and Altfest have noted.A six-week head start on reordering has allowed the food bank to place orders for Thanksgiving. "We used to restock when our inventory was down to three weeks' worth," he said.
"I'm really grateful that they're able to assist us," said Diane Martinez, who stood in line on foot one recent morning in Los Angeles since food costs are "so expensive and they're going up higher and higher."