Inflation causing spike in cost of groceries as holiday season approaches, food banks stretched thin

Friday, November 12, 2021
Inflation causing spike in food cost as holidays approach
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Naveen Dhaliwal has more on the local impact of the rising cost of food.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Inflation is causing a spike in prices and people are noticing, especially with the holiday season right around the corner.

"When I go to Costco or BJ's I see everything is $3 more," said Ana Terrero, a Bronx resident.

Terrero is now being forced to change her grocery shopping habits.

"I'm buying less, if I was buying three peppers I buy two," said Terrero.

These recent prices are the steepest they've been in three decades, according to experts.

The labor department reports a 0.9 percent increase in consumer goods just this October.

This increase comes as millions of Americans prepare for Thanksgiving.

Officials report that a family of four spends $849 a month for groceries on average.

That's an increase from the $674 a month average just last year.

One food pantry in Teaneck, New Jersey, is now feeding up to 700 families.

"We had a lady come in and she says 'Do you mind if I come in here and get some food?' and she started sobbing," said one pantry worker.

Many people living in the Tri-State already dealing with a high cost of living may turn to food banks more as the holiday season approaches.

However, officials with Feeding America say the rising prices are hurting food banks' ability to feed those in need.

"Our food banks are seeing prices that are two to three times what they were just nine months ago," said the President and COO of Feeding America, Katie Fitzgerald.

The two driving factors for the increase: the backup in the supply chain, mostly due to the pandemic, and businesses with low employee retention.

Economists say these problems might take months to resolve.

RELATED | Supply chain issues, COVID impacting local food banks ahead of holiday season

Food banks were already struggling to meet high demand during the pandemic, but now with recent global supply chain issues, they are facing more need.


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