Inflation, food costs hitting Harry Chapin Food Bank hard

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FORT MYERS

More than 160,000 people in Southwest Florida don’t know where their next meal is coming from, according to the nonprofit organization Feeding America.

And with rising costs due to inflation, food banks are having a harder time helping them put food on the table.

That’s why WINK News is Marching to a Million Meals in order to help our neighbors get the food they need.

In Southwest Florida, the Harry Chapin Food Bank gives 5 million pounds of food to 250,000 families every month.

And even though not as many families rely on them for their groceries as they did at the start of the pandemic, the need is still higher than before it all started in 2020.

Now, Harry Chapin Food Bank President and CEO Richard Leber said many families are struggling with the high prices at the store.

“They’re finding it more difficult to get enough food and to get good quality food on the fixed or limited budget that they have. And we’re certainly seeing that every day, every time we do distribution,” Leber said.

For example, a carton of 18 eggs cost $2.60 at Publix last July. This year, the price has gone up to $4.50.

And those same high prices brought on by pandemic-related supply issues are hitting the food bank hard, too.

“It’s not just the food that’s more expensive. It’s everything else, it’s the transportation of the food, for example, has gone up probably 30% over where it was last year. So that affects our ability to be able to buy and chip in the amount of food that we need,” Leber said.

The Food Bank relies on March to a Million Meals every year, but this year more than ever.

“We just love the idea of getting so many people in our community involved in our work. Just understand and support what we do so we, we love that event. It’s really important event for us,” he said.

Consider donating to the March to a Million Meals by clicking the link or the banner below.

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