The rising prices of produce and other consumer goods are affecting communities’ access to food.
Food banks were already seeing an increase in demand because of the pandemic. Now, inflation is also affecting food distribution.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 6.2% in October. That is the highest it has been since 1990.
Local food banks are there to help families struggling to pay for meals; however, they're also now being affected by inflation.
“Inflation is affecting us because it’s costing us more money to bring in food. It is also affecting our clients because they are seeing those increases in prices, too. They’re turning to us to fill those gaps because they might not be able to fill up their pantries or fridges like they used to," said Emily Hansen, the operations director at SLO Food Bank.
Many people are relying on the SLO Food Bank for their meals as prices go up.
“This is the biggest help we can receive because everything is so expensive in the store. With what they give us here, it is such great help," said one SLO Food Bank client.
Another said, "Everything is way too expensive. Whatever store you go to, everything is pricey. During this pandemic, too, there isn’t a lot of jobs so everything they give us here we use.”
As the holidays come up, making sure each family has access to healthy meals is essential for the SLO Food Bank. This year alone, they are looking to distribute 3,000 turkeys. That's more than any other year.
SLO Food Bank estimates it will have distributed more than 4 million pounds of food by the end of this year. To find distribution centers across San Luis Obispo County, or to donate, visit this website.