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Hunger Crisis Intensifies in America Amid Inflation and Decreased Aid

PRESS RELEASE: November 30, 2023

In urban centers across the United States, including the nation’s capital, an escalating hunger crisis is unfolding. Bread for the City, a charity in Washington, D.C., recently experienced overwhelming demand during their pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Helpers food giveaway. Despite preparing for a 20% increase in meals, they had to shut down three days early after assisting 16,000 people, far exceeding their expectations. This situation is a stark indicator of the broader national trend of rising food insecurity.


A September report by the Urban Institute estimated that about 1 in 5 adults experienced household food insecurity last summer, mirroring the levels during the first year of the pandemic and marking a sharp increase from the spring of 2021. The crisis disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic adults, who have reported higher rates of food insecurity than their white counterparts.


The government estimates a significant rise in food prices, up 9.5% to 10.5% this year, which is squeezing the budgets of many Americans and straining the resources of food banks. Inflation has been a significant factor, with community needs remaining 50% to 70% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Food banks and charities across the country, such as the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington and the Greater Chicago Food Bank, have been struggling to keep up with the increased demand, with some reporting serving up to 30% more households compared to the previous year.


Inflation has led to substantial increases in the prices of basic food items. The price of chicken, for example, has more than doubled, and the cost of turkey is 21% higher than last year. Other staples like stuffing and potatoes have also seen significant price hikes. Local organizations have been working tirelessly to aid in response to the growing need. Dion Dawson, founder of Dion’s Chicago Dream, has been delivering groceries to over 1,000 households in 40 different neighborhoods each week. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank in Louisiana has also seen a 10% to 15% rise in local food insecurity in just the past two months.


Ashley Domm of Bread for the City notes that the long lines for food assistance speak to the intensity and depth of the need. She also points out the psychological element at play, with families eager to have a normal holiday season after two years of pandemic disruptions. The hunger crisis in America, exacerbated by inflation and the reduction in federal assistance, presents a significant challenge that requires immediate attention and action. Food banks and charities are at the forefront of this battle, but the situation underscores the need for broader support and sustainable solutions. As families across the nation face the daily struggle of securing enough food, the importance of community action and policy intervention becomes increasingly clear.

Hunger Crisis Intensifies in America Amid Inflation and Decreased Aid
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