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Inflation skyrocketing across the US, food bank managers worried about rising costs

Jun 11, 2021, 8:05 PM
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FILE: KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY – Analysts say inflation is skyrocketing across the country, and many here in Utah are having a hard time keeping up with rising costs.  This has food bank managers very concerned since demand is already much higher than they’ve seen in years past.

The latest Consumer Price Index shows the prices that people pay for everyday goods have jumped five percent over the last 12 months, the fastest spike in 13 years.  ABC News is reporting analysts expected some inflation during the post-pandemic recovery, but they’re uncertain if this is a “more concerning, long-term trend.”

Many Utahns say they’re already feeling the strain.  One man, who wanted to stay anonymous, says his food stamps don’t stretch as far as they used to, and he was only able to survive thanks to a boost the state offered during the pandemic.  However, he says erratic prices are forcing him to shop at several different stores.

He says, “The lowest price is no longer ‘everywhere,’ it’s at a niche market.”

One woman, going by the name of Susan, agrees.  She compiles a monthly grocery bill showing she goes to at least half a dozen stores looking for good deals.

“I go to Rancho Market.  I go to Lucky.  I go to NPS,” she says.

Susan’s biggest expense is what she spends in property taxes.  She has lived in her current home for over 50 years, and the property taxes are becoming a serious burden.

“It goes up with the rising value of homes.  So, it’s going to continue to go up because my home, when I first had it, was $11 thousand.  Now, it’s assessed at over $300 thousand,” Susan says.

Food bank managers say demand skyrocketed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and they never really went back down.  Utah Food Bank President Ginette Bott says they were distributing roughly two million pounds of food per month by March of 2020.  Now, they’re giving out more than triple that amount.

“In April and May [of 2021], it was 6.5 million pounds of food,” she says.

Bott says this kind of inflation is coming at the worst possible time.

“Now, were’ coming into the summer months.  June, July and August, even pre-pandemic, are the months during the year that we see the highest demand,” Bott says.  “Kids are out of school, parents are having to supply more meals.”

 

Other Reading:

Community advocates say slowing job growth made worse by high inflation

President Biden signs $1.9 trillion relief bill into law

State auditor worried about spending, warns Utah may be depending too much on federal money

 

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Inflation skyrocketing across the US, food bank managers worried about rising costs