Don’t you hate it when someone tells you something obvious and tries to make it seem like they’re delivering brand-new information?
I’m always tempted to say, “Thanks for the news flash. Hey, did you hear World War II ended?” Of course, I don’t. I usually say something kinder such as, “Yeah, I heard about that. It’s really something, isn’t it?”
So, I won’t insult your intelligence by announcing that we’re facing record-high inflation. And that food prices are skyrocketing. I’m sure you’re reminded of those facts every time you go grocery shopping, order food or eat at a restaurant.
But I will tell you that the rising cost of food is sending an increasing number of people to food banks. And that food banks are experiencing shortages because donors have less to give. Feeding America food banks, for example, have 20-30% less inventory than previously.
That’s what I want to discuss today. And please stay with me because at the end I’m going to offer an affordable and healthy solution to the problem of soaring food prices and potential shortages.
Food Insecurity Increasing
A phrase we’re hearing all too often these days is “food insecurity.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines it as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”
We’re used to hearing about food insecurity in third-world nations. Now it looks like we’d better get used to hearing about it here in the States.
With costs going up for food and fuel costs rising for transporting that food, we’ve got problems. It’s estimated that one in eight Americans is food insecure. In other words, more than 38 million people.
There has always been a certain percentage of the population that needs help from food banks. And thank God for the generosity of those who make financial and food donations.
There is nothing as frightening as being unable to put food on the table for your children or an elderly parent. “It is a very humbling moment when you encounter someone who is fearful,” said Kyle Waide. He’s president and CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Donations Slowing Down
But now many more people are requiring the services of food banks. And with inflation hitting everyone hard, donations have slowed, creating a supply crisis.
Leaders in the food bank industry told Fox News that working families are becoming fixtures in long lines at food banks and other distribution sites.
Matt Burns is chief operating officer at Feeding South Dakota. He said, “We’ve had an over 20% increase in families for our statewide mobile service in the past 12 months.”
He added that people who normally have enough to feed their families are having to make “really tough choices between food and other necessities like housing, medication and car payments. All these things put incredible pressure on household budgets.”
The Need Is Growing
Jorge Lupercio is director of operations at Placer Food Bank in Roseville, California. Aramelle Wheeler is marketing and communications coordinator at Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Both are witnessing disturbing trends.
Lupercio said their clientele has expanded from the homeless to working families. During his company’s 2019-20 fiscal year, they distributed 325,000 pounds of food to 22,500 people. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, they distributed 1.4 million pounds of food to some 62,000 people.
Wheeler said her company has also seen a recent increase in lower and middle class families needing food assistance. They are serving an average of 117,000 Nevadans monthly, a 17% increase over last year.
Even the second-wealthiest county in New York state – Westchester County – is experiencing long lines at its food banks. Two-thirds of those Feeding Westchester recipients who were surveyed said food pantries are their primary source of food.
Becoming a Permanent Fixture?
Food banks are non-profits. They can only distribute as much food as they have. Waide said, “It’s kind of a perfect storm of higher demand, higher cost to operate, less federal support.”
Andrew Olsen is president of Altus Marketing. He works with food banks across the country. He said he’s heard stories from partners about former food bank donors who are now standing in line for food themselves.
Another discouraging sign, he said, is that “food banking is no longer a temporary service” for many people, but rather an ongoing activity. It’s becoming a permanent fixture in some households.
Many of those who run food banks have started purchasing food themselves in order to keep up with demand. But there’s only so long some of them can afford to do that.
There is a growing concern about the availability of food during the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Victory Garden Seed Collection
None of us knows whether food prices will continue rising. Or whether shortages might occur due to a resurgence of the COVID pandemic this fall and winter.
The best way to provide yourself with food insurance is growing your own vegetables and fruits. And your best bet is to acquire a great variety of non-GMO seeds passed down from our forefathers.
You can do exactly that with the Victory Garden Seed Collection from 4Patriots. It includes nearly 10,000 heirloom seeds. So you can grow plenty of tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, zucchini and beets.
And they’re heirloom seeds, so you can plant and harvest them year after year. Now’s a great time to order. In the spirit of National Preparedness Month, there’s a $2.00 OFF coupon on these Survival Seeds at the link below.