Food prices are rising, and families can’t keep up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the food at home price index rose by 10% over the prior 12 months, the largest increase since March 1981.
Making matters worse, many states are ending the emergency benefits put in place during the pandemic. This rapid increase in grocery prices is driving many food-insecure families to turn to food banks.
But the pain of inflation is reaching the outlets themselves. Around 85% of Feeding America’s food bank network reported that demand for food assistance rose or stayed the same in February compared to the previous month. Within the past six months, 55% of Feeding America food banks reported a decrease in food donations.
Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said in a news release, “In the coming months and years, we are facing a historically unprecedented set of simultaneous challenges and we need to strengthen our commitment and resolve to support our neighbors’ ability not just to survive, but to thrive.”
“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal spoke to Babineaux-Fontenot about how inflation affects marginalized families and food banks and how the nation should deal with food insecurity.