Nearly half of America’s food banks describe a growing number of people lining up for pantry as inflation knocks the basics of pantry out of reach and the Biden administration’s eight-year anti-hunger plan unlocks.
Homeowners in the United States told DailyMail.com that the mouth-watering prices at grocery stores had prompted them to seek help in food pantries. Even the organizers of the food bank claimed that inflation was driving up costs and hampering their ability to provide assistance.
The peak inflation rate in 40 years of 9.1% has put the basics, from butter to steak, out of reach for many, and undermined President Joe Biden’s goal of ending hunger and improving diets and physical activity levels in the United States by 2030.
Pat Young, 64, a retired home care nurse, turned to St John’s Bread and Life Program in Brooklyn, New York this month as inflation pushed the pantry’s basics beyond her annual income budget. of disability of less than $ 30,000 per year.
“It’s really become a challenge to eat healthily and get by,” Young told DailyMail.com.
For Young, the weekly packages of milk, juice, corn, turkey, canned fruit, beans and rice are a godsend. However, her energy bills leave her sitting at home in the dark, with no air conditioning in the summer heat, without her favorite fruity treat: cherries.
US President Joe Biden visited a food bank in Houston, Texas in February. The White House wants to end hunger nationwide by 2030, but uncontrolled inflation of 9.1% is causing more and more people to need help to get by
“You’d be surprised how many people are eligible to use the pantry,” Young said. “Because the economy is so bad, many workers are also in the low 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 beneficiaries asking for help.
Pat Young, 64, a retired home care nurse, turned to a food bank as inflation pushed pantry basics beyond her budget
Jilly Stephens, CEO of City Harvest, another New York-based food bank, said 90 percent of its beneficiaries should rely more on handouts this year as inflation has also pushed a dozen eggs priced over. one dollar.
“With food costs rising at the fastest pace in decades, we are seeing many families who already barely kept their heads above water now increasingly rely on food pantries,” Stephens told DailyMail.com.
Ginette Bott, president of the Utah Food Bank, said that inflation is having an impact as powerful as the Covid-19 pandemic and has “stretched our customers’ budgets even further”.
A nationwide 60 percent increase in gas prices had doubled his organization’s fuel costs and was effectively “squeezing both sides of the emergency food assistance equation,” he added.
The same is true of California, where Carolyn Solar, president of Feeding America Riverside San Bernardino, said her organization’s fuel bills increased from $ 17,664 in 2021 to $ 34,460 this year.
With inflation rising, 21% of Americans have turned to food banks, according to a poll by Tipp Insights this month. About half of the respondents were switching to cheaper store brands and giving up on expensive items like meat.
Almost a quarter were simply skipping meals altogether.
According to the Department of Agriculture, more than 38 million people in the United States, including 12 million children, are not getting enough food to live an active and healthy life, a 2020 figure that many expect will rise with the next update.
The rise in food prices comes after state governments put an end to rules on disasters caused by Covid-19 that increased benefits to some 40 million food stamp recipients and after a purchase and distribution program of Trump-era food ended in 2021.
The Biden administration says it wants to end hunger and improve diets and overall health nationwide by 2030 so that fewer people succumb to diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other style diseases. of life.
The White House did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request to comment on the growing demand for food pantries.
A White House statement this month spoke of a “whole government strategy to end hunger” and tackle disease and plans for a conference on hunger and nutrition, hosted by Biden, to chart a roadmap of 50 years to deal with the problem.
Democrats are touting an inflation-fighting bill of tax reforms and climate finance as a solution to high prices, but it’s unclear whether it will get enough votes in the Senate or cut inflation in the coming months.
DailyMail.com studied the prices of everyday items and calculated how much they would have cost if inflation had stayed at the Federal Reserve’s 2% target rate – not the sprawling hikes we saw last year – to find out how much they currently stand. paying consumers extra
Community volunteers sift and sort produce at a food bank in Houston, Texas earlier this year as food prices soared due to labor shortages, transportation problems, and supply chain difficulties.
US inflation rose to 9.1 percent in June, the highest since 1981 and higher than the economist’s forecast