Apr 25, 2022 - News

Rising costs are putting pressure on the North Texas Food Bank

A photo of the meat section of a grocery store
Meat prices were up 4.8% in March compared to February. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Increasing food and gas prices are driving more people to seek assistance from the North Texas Food Bank.

Driving the news: The cost of groceries went up nearly 13% in March compared to February, according to the world food price index.

  • The NTFB distributed 22% more food in March compared to February, up from 10 million meals to 12.2 million meals.

Why it matters: Worldwide hunger was exacerbated by the pandemic, and now surging prices are increasing the demand for food assistance, reports Axios' Erica Pandey.

  • Hunger in America was at an all-time low before 2020, according to Feeding America. Now it's surging back.

Zoom in: In North Texas, one in five children is experiencing food insecurity.

Details: The cost of one of NTFB's staples — cans of peaches — has nearly doubled since last year, so the food bank is looking for fruit substitutes, Anne Readhimer, the vice president of community impact, tells Axios.

  • The NTFB is also spending about 35% more on gas than before the spike in prices, which is affecting the operating costs to distribute donations to the smaller food banks NTFB serves.

Flashback: During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, 40% of the people who received assistance from the food bank were seeking help for the first time.

  • Demand has dropped off since then but is on the rise again because it appears "uncertain times will maintain for a while," Readhimer said.

How to help: The food bank is spending about three times more buying food now than it was before 2020 and needs more food donations.

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