Food bank and meal service affected by inflation

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:18 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Rising inflation in the US has been felt in a variety of ways, including higher food prices. These costs are affecting many people and local nonprofits providing food to those in need.

A report from Trading Economics said in July, food inflation in the US hit 10.9%, the highest since May 1979. These rising prices are affecting a variety of people and organizations combatting hunger in our community.

“All the price increases that you’re seeing at the grocery store, Feed My People is also experiencing,” Susie Haugley, Feed My People Food Bank Communications Specialist, said. “We’ve definitely had to purchase a lot more groceries than we had to a couple of years ago even, and certainly in the last few months for purchasing even more than ever before.”

Feed My People Food Bank is purchasing more food because they said the need for food has increased.

“82% of our agencies across the region reported that they’re seeing more people come in through their doors, and also at our pop-up distributions, we’re seeing more families come through, but it’s not continuing to increase,” Haugley said. “It’s definitely plateaued, but it’s higher than it ever was and definitely higher than it was a year ago.”

That’s also true for The Community Table, whose been serving more meals as well.

“Typically, we would do anywhere from 55-65,” TJ Atkins, The Community Table Executive Director said, “Now, those numbers have gone anywhere from 65-80 that we’re serving a day. We’re noticing an increase in families and children, which is not something we typically saw pre-pandemic.”

Atkins said the demand keeps getting higher.

“Since probably July, it’s been in an uptick and it hasn’t stopped yet,” Atkins said. “So, we’ll see. Now that school started, that might change.”

But whether that change happens, Haugley said it’s important to recognize the prevalence of hunger in our community.

“I think it’s really common to think that hunger is an out-there problem, but in reality, hunger is here,” Haugley said. “It is in our communities and it’s urgent and together we can really make a difference.”

Both The Community Table and Feed My People said volunteering and donations can go a long way.

September is Hunger Action Month, which serves as a time to take action against hunger in communities. Haugley said there’s no better time than now to help serve the community.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering at Feed My People, information can be found on its website.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering at The Community Table, information can be found on its website.