April 16, 2008

Food Swings

A couple weeks ago the Washington Post ran a story on food pantry shortages across the country. Kristin Downey writes:

Nationwide, requests for food assistance in the past year are up 30 percent, said Maura Daly, a lobbyist for America's Second Harvest in Chicago, the nation's leading hunger-relief charity.

And here's what Ms. Downey had to say about our close friends at the Capital Area Food Bank:

Officials at the Capital Area Food Bank, which helps supply more than 700 member agencies in the Washington region, have seen the group's annual electricity costs rise 35 percent, to $135,000 from $100,000, in five years.

Being a food pantry, BFC can attest that this year we're seeing far more people than in previous years, and the more food prices spike, the more Ted Pringle, our Food & Clothing Director, has to do fiscal gymnastics.

One of the most significant reasons (if not the most significant reason) we're seeing more people coming through our doors is food prices. The more they go up, the more people who used to be financially secure are forced to divert funds to eat. The New York Times tells us today that food prices are finally looking like they're going to go back down to a reasonable level. Their money math is drawn from the Consumer Price Index, and is about three abstract steps away from us on a ladder. Let's hope they're right.

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