More Americans are living on food stamps due to rising food prices.
According to CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank Kyle Waid, Fox News reported on Saturday that food banks across the US are having difficulty keeping up with the demand for their services to feed Americans in need as record inflation continues.
"There's kind of a perfect storm of increased demand, more operating costs, and decreased federal funding. Waid told the news source, "That's putting a lot of pressure on food banks and food pantries around the country.
He claims that after the Covid-19 epidemic shutdowns were lifted and people went back to work, demand at the food bank he represents decreased but has since begun to increase.
People who are using food banks for the first time in their lives are something we are seeing. They are under a great deal of stress because of the inflationary atmosphere. These people are accustomed to helping those in need while standing outside the queue rather than standing in it themselves, according to Waid.
According to recent media reports, Atlanta is not the only city experiencing a rise in the desire for free food. This Monday, the Meridian Foodbank in Boise, Idaho, announced that it is now providing monthly services to 4,200 people, up from 2,800 at this time last year. In Pennsylvania, the Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank announced on Thursday that it had "tripled the number of families we're serving every month since October," but only about 300 of the 1,800 families it fed in July was new clients.
According to recent reports, the Alameda Foodbank in California served more than 1,400 families each day in January of this year as opposed to only 890 homes in January. In a breadline outside St Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, hundreds of families were reportedly lining up earlier this month, according to AP. At the time, the food bank said that its distribution center had served 4,271 families in a single week, an increase of 78% from the same period the previous year.
Waid claims that the rising need for food bank services is a direct result of the inflation rate, which in June reached a 40-year high of 9.1 percent. The Department of Labor reported a 10.4% increase in food prices alone. Additionally, this places pressure on food banks: The Feeding America website states that the same quantity of food that was purchased by food banks around the nation for distribution before the pandemic now costs 40% more than it did two years ago.
"We are paying more money only to consume the same amount of food. As we respond to the same wage pressure that other businesses are responding to, we see increased fuel costs for our trucks that are on the road and greater expenditures for our employees, Waid said to Fox News. He emphasized the critical need for government assistance to support the growing number of Americans who are experiencing food insecurity.