This fall, the news has been full of reports of inflation, including surging food prices. The cost of groceries has increased by 13 percent over the past 12 months, meaning that a $100 supermarket trip in September 2021 cost $113 in September 2022. While $13 may not seem like all that much, it can have a large impact in a country where 13.5 million households struggled last year to put food on the table.
As prices of everything increase, families must make difficult decisions
It’s not just food prices. Over the past year, housing prices increased by 6% and energy spending/costs by a whopping 19.8%. Because these expenditures are non-negotiable if families do not want to lose the roof over their head, what often gives is their food budget. More than half of food pantry clients report having to choose between food and other bills, like housing and utilities.
The cost of transportation presents another challenge. Over 53 million people—more than the population of Texas and Florida combined—live in low-income areas with low food access, where getting to the nearest full-service grocery store requires a car or bus ride. This year, transportation costs also increased significantly, making each grocery store trip even more expensive.