Long lines are back at US food banks as inflation soars

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PHOENIX

Long lines are back at food banks across the United States as American workers overwhelmed by inflation turn to donations to help feed their families.

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With gas prices and grocery costs soaring, many people are looking for charity food for the first time, and others are arriving on foot.

US inflation is at its highest level in 40 years and gasoline prices have been rising since April 2020, with the national average cost briefly hitting $5 a gallon in June. Rapidly rising rents and the end of federal COVID-19 relief have also had a financial impact.

Food banks, which had begun to see some relief as people returned to work after pandemic shutdowns, are struggling to meet the latest needs, even as federal programs provide less food to distribute, grocery store donations dwindle and cash donations don’t go that far.

Food bank workers are predicting a tough summer by staying ahead of demand.

The spike in food prices comes after state governments ended COVID-19 disaster declarations that temporarily allowed increased benefits under SNAP, the federal food stamp program covering some 40 million people. Americans.

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Charitable food distribution remained well above the amounts distributed before the coronavirus pandemic, although demand fell somewhat at the end of last year.

Feeding America officials say second-quarter data won’t be ready until August, but they’re hearing anecdotally from food banks nationwide that demand is skyrocketing.

United States, economy,

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