Inflation tests the capacity of food banks as Americans deplete their resources

Food banks have seen an increase of about 65% in requests for help.

Photo: Michael Loccisano / / Getty Images

As many American families continue to grapple with the additional expenses on gasolinefood and mortgages caused by inflation, food banks have also registered a greater demand, although the donations they receive are increasingly enough for less.

Food banks across the United States say labor and distribution costs are rising and donations they are slowing down.

About 65% of the 200 food banks in the Feeding America network reported have seen increased demand of food assistance in March compared to the previous month, with an average increase of 15% more people, according to the latest data from the nation’s largest hunger relief program.

About 30% of food banks said they had served the same number of clients.

Some of Feeding America’s food pantry partners have closed due to decreased donations and higher costs to receive and deliver food. Others have less food on their shelves even though it is in higher demand.

The problem has grown to the point where President Joe Biden last week called a Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September, the first since 1969.

Harder to afford gasoline and food

In early 2020, the covid-19 pandemic forced approximately 60 million Americans to seek help for food insecurity, according to Feeding America.

By the end of 2021, with the hiring boom, the demand for food banks returned to regular levels. But the relief was short-lived.

The 8.3% inflation in the consumer price index in April announced on Wednesday and the national average price of gasoline that reached a record this Sunday of $4.47 per gallon are some of the main reasons that have pushed this situation.

In addition, the problem is added shortages caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine and other supply chain issues.

In the pockets of families, these complications have meant that, after cutting expenses in recent months, as the situation continues, they no longer have any other options. Some of the parents, according to a report from CNNhave resorted to skipping meals in order to complete their children’s meals.

The families’ struggles are heightened by the fact that government benefits that increased during the pandemic, such as food stamps or unemployment insurance, have stopped or will end soon.

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