Recently, long queues of cars lined up outside North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) waiting for care packages. Two years ago, at the height of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the same demand for food banks was observed as thousands of locked down hungry and unemployed people needed support.
This time, it was due to the continued record-high inflation hunting American households. Many are now depending on food bank supplies
NTFB CEO Trisha Cunningham told CBS News
that demand for her food bank "is worse than a couple of years ago
. "We are serving now at higher levels than we even did at the peak of the pandemic," she said
Most of the people who lined up their vehicles outside NTFB said the reason they are there is that "they can't afford groceries."
Dallas resident Dana Carpenter, who was waiting in line told a news reporter: "It is just the basics: flour, sugar, egg, and milk prices that have spiraled out of control. We don't buy cookies and cakes because we don't have that luxury anymore."
The network's evening news reported that 53 million Americans relied on food banks in 2021, compared to 40 million pre-pandemic (2019). This is a whopping 13 million new Americans who can't afford essential items at supermarkets.
Retailers also notified that less-affluent consumers aren't in great shape
this summer despite President Joe Biden's administration publicizing that there's been zero inflation last month and everything is wonderful ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Food banks face challenges as they try to feed America
Feeding America, a nonprofit network of 200 food banks, found in the latest pulse survey that 65 percent of member food banks reported an increase in demand for emergency food assistance
in June compared to the previous month.
Ninety percent of all responding food banks reported seeing increased or steady demand for services amid record food price increases.
"Inflation is devastating to the budgets of families, seniors, and people just barely getting by, driving more and more of them to food banks and food pantries," said Katie Fitzgerald, president and COO of Feeding America.
Food banks are not immune to these inflationary pressures. While they're dealing with long lines at distributions, they face soaring costs and other challenges to their operations.
In addition to the increase in demand at food banks, Feeding America is facing supply chain issues that are blowing up operating budgets and forcing food banks to operate at deficits. (Related: Food banks struggle to meet increased demand for food aid, may not have enough resources for the fall and winter
A prior food bank survey found that around 70 percent of the members say food donations are down and around 95 percent say food purchase costs are up, paying more for transportation and food.
The increase in people seeking help from food banks is also taxing pantries' own resources
. In the past, Tehma Smith Wilson, who runs a food pantry in Baltimore, said her pantry typically received 700 boxes of food to donate but now the number is around 100.
"This is not a sustainable situation," Fitzgerald continued. "Hunger in America
is a problem that can be solved. There are 66 billion pounds of food that go to waste every year. We need everyone to be a part of that solution – the government, private sector, food donors and folks who can contribute and raise awareness about this solvable but really difficult problem."
for more news related to the soaring commodity prices that make people resort to food banks and pantries.
Watch the below video that talks about how inflation is causing the global food supply to collapse
This video is from the Light Bulb Initiative channel on Brighteon.com
More related stories:
Local food banks beset by higher demand and food shortages due to record-high INFLATION
National Black Farmers Association warns: Food shortage inevitable unless the government steps in
A global food shortage "catastrophe" is unfolding, warns UN chief
The food shortage crisis due to pandemic lockdowns and economic warfare may prove deadly for many