Summer can be a challenging time for families struggling with food insecurity. Millions in this country depend on school meal programs during the academic year. In the summer months, caregivers are responsible for providing children with three square meals a day. With food inflation at an all-time high and the reduction of SNAP benefits, this feels daunting to many of our clients.
The combination of increased demand for food and limited resources can contribute to a sense of urgency and heightened stress for families who are struggling to put food on the table.
When inflation exceeds wage growth, people living paycheck to paycheck are forced to cut expenses, leading to difficult trade-offs such as choosing between buying healthy food and paying for other basic needs like rent, healthcare, or transportation.
The increase in food prices is also affecting Loaves & Fishes. The demand is high (we are feeding over 8,000 people a week), and the food supply has not kept pace. The charitable food system has been significantly stressed. We are seeing fewer food donations because of the prices, and the food we purchase is more expensive. Because of the increase in need, Loaves & Fishes has had to triple the amount of purchased food.
During these challenging times, the community support has never been more critical. You can help by hosting a food drive or donating to our virtual food drive, where you will find our most needed items for our clients. If you or your neighbors have a summer garden, consider donating a portion of your harvest! If you need help, you’re not alone – we’re here for you. With our community working together, we will overcome these challenges and make sure families have food all year, especially in the summer.