LOCAL NEWS

Inflation-induced food bank holiday planning

COLORADO SPRINGS — The cost of living continues to rise. The CPI update for September has just been released and shows inflation continuing at a high rate. The average from numerous categories of consumer prices is an increase of 8.2%.

This comes as local food bank managers work to make sure people have food for the holidays.

“We’ve had to maintain continued increases and continued longer lines in our direct service programs and in our partner agencies because of the impact this has had on so many families,” said Shannon Coker of the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado.

Like consumers, food banks also face higher prices.

At the Care and Share Food Bank, they buy in bulk by the pound. The price is close to 12%.

Items for holiday meals are even more challenging.

“In years past, we could get a turkey for about $10 to $15 per turkey,” Coker said, “This year we had to spend $25 per turkey to get as many birds as possible within the budget we had.”

Gaps in the supply chain add to the problem.

“That was on our mind because things like canned pumpkin and cranberries and stuffing were things that we secured orders for, but unfortunately, those food orders were canceled,” Coker said.

There was no success in securing those items from other suppliers.

It’s possible that donations could fill the gap, but that’s unknown, especially since inflation creates budget uncertainty for many in the community.

“We’re certainly hoping that neighbors will continue to open their wallets and be able to fund our work,” Coker said, “But it’s really uncertain because you know, we all look at our own budgets a little differently.

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