Families, food banks feel inflation pinch this Thanksgiving
Rising food prices due to rapid inflation are ruining this year’s feast of Thanksgiving, the US national holiday on November 24th.
Thanksgiving dinner often includes turkey and trimmings, such as cranberries, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving dinner costs are up 20% from last year, according to a study by the American Farm Bureau Federation. And prices for turkey alone he’s up 21%.
Some say they plan to cut back on their big holiday feasts.
“I won’t be eating as much this year,” said Cynthia Walsh, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington. It’s about coming together and being grateful for what we have.”
For those in need, food banks across the country are lending a helping hand. However, with donations dropping and clients flooding in, they are feeling the pinch.
Millions of people turn to food banks for help.
Among them is Margherita Vicencio, who came to the United States from Chile six years ago.
“My husband just lost his job and this is the first time I’ve asked a food bank for help,” she said while picking up supplies at Food for Others in Fairfax, Virginia, just outside Washington.
Her 11-year-old son, Tomas Arancibia, said his family combines his Chilean roots with American Thanksgiving traditions.
“I’m going to celebrate with my brothers, sisters and family friends with turkey and the food that’s available here,” he said.
Annie Turner, executive director of Food for Others, told VOA that high food prices are making it difficult for nonprofits to support their clients.
“Not only have food costs skyrocketed, but donors are giving less, so we have to buy more food ourselves,” she said. “During that time, the number of families coming here has increased by 60% compared to this time last year, she said.”
“We have a lot of families coming in to buy food for Thanksgiving, and we’re handing out stuffing, potatoes, and other fresh ingredients,” she added. Offer cards so they can get turkey and other foods they like.”
In the Midwest, food service organizations in cities such as Chicago and St. Louis are also flooded with customers.
“The number of people using our food program has increased 42% compared to last year,” said Greg Trotter, director of marketing and communications for Nourishing Hope, a Chicago social service organization. was not enough to keep up with the growing number of people we served, including families with more children.”
“We have had to pay twice as much for turkey this year, but we try to offer turkey and other holiday foods to anyone who comes to our door,” he said.
At the St. Louis Area Food Bank in Missouri, the organization is hosting its fifth annual Thanksgiving Together.
Foodbank president and CEO Meredith Knopf told VOA: “We have a diverse population of people in the region, including Afghans, Bosnians, and Asians, so not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, so we also serve food that they are familiar with.”
In Los Angeles, the second largest city in the United States, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank reaches 800,000 people each month through partner agencies.
Food bank CEO Michael Flood said the big problem was “we can’t get enough turkeys for Thanksgiving and we’re having a supply problem.
“In addition to turkeys, we also truck chickens for people on vacation,” he said.
St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, continues to see a surge in foot traffic, said public relations director Jerry Brown.
“We had twice as many people as we did at this time last year. We had 7,000 people in two major locations in one week, which is unprecedented,” says Brown. However, “we are spending more money on food because donors are cutting back, and we are handing out more food than ever before.”
Despite the obstacles, Brown said the food bank is determined to give families a good Thanksgiving.
“We expect to be able to deliver food crates to 12,000 people before Thanksgiving,” said Brown. “We’ve been proud at St. Mary’s for decades to have a turkey in the backseat of the last car that leaves us before Thanksgiving.”
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