COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Almost everything a person needs to buy is more expensive these days, according to the US Department of Labor and Statistics, and not even food banks are immune to the impacts.
A consumer report released September 14th by the USDOL showed the all-items index increased 5.3% between August 2020 and August 2021, and economists say the pandemic is to blame. It all comes down to high demand, and less labor to get the demand out there.
This affects everyone, including local charities like Care and Share Food Bank.
“When we’re struggling to get food at our distribution center, it’s also an issue in making sure that our local food pantry partners across southern Colorado also have their shelves stocked throughout the year," says Joanna Wise, Marketing and Communications Director at the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado. "But at the end of the day, when we make the call asking for help, the community always steps up."
The food bank, relying heavily on donations, has budgeted $2 million to purchase food on its own, as labor shortages also play a part in the food bank's ability to stock its shelves.
According to the September Consumer Price Index by the USDOL, many basic pantry and refrigerator food staples have risen in cost, especially between August 2019 and August 2020. Items like tuna, macaroni and cheese went up in price, and even peanut butter rose 6.6%.
It also became more costly to deliver.
“Last year we paid about $28,000 for a truckload [of peanut butter]," says Wise. "A couple of months ago, that went up to about $50,000 that we pay for one truckload.”
Economists have predicted inflation will begin to slow down toward the end of the year, but it may be too soon to tell.
In the meantime, Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado says monetary donations go a long way, and its doors stay open to food item donations, as well. You can donate by clicking here.