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Rising Food Prices Could Mean Higher Hunger Rates

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Released 30 March 2011

RISING FOOD PRICES COULD RESULT IN RISING HUNGER RATES AND OVERWHELMING REQUESTS FOR HELP

On March 11, fifty-five volunteers from UPS, Delta, AGL Resources Inc., Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Coxe Curry & Associates, Internal Revenue Service, and HUD joined forces to help sort 451 boxes of food. The sorting entailed checking expiration dates on each item, separating cans into easily accessible categories and boxing the items into manageable sizes for easier transportation to our food pantries.  

Since early January, hundreds more volunteers like these have rolled up their sleeves to sort and distribute emergency groceries to hungry individuals and families in metro Atlanta.

Yet, The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta officials say that requests for food assistance have nearly doubled since October 2010, and concerns loom that rising food prices of more than 4% annually could drive up metro Atlanta's hunger rates and result in an overwhelming number of requests for food and financial assistance.

According to a March 16th CNN.com report, an analysis of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that overall consumer prices for groceries will rise an average of 3-4% annually from 2011 to 2015 with the highest rate of increase in the early years.

"History has shown us that any significant rise in food, fuel or other household expenses leads to a significant increase in requests for The Salvation Army's emergency food, eviction, or utility turn-off prevention assistance," explains Major Marshall Gesner, The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Commander.

In fact, The Salvation Army officials say that so far this year, the number of people who are first-time recipients of services has risen 27% (2088 additional people), and emergency food orders provided are up 97% (2425 more households) in comparison to the same time period in 2010.

‘"For families already on the brink, a 3-4% increase in expenses could be devastating," says Gesner, "The recent recession has also taught us that metro Atlanta's middle class are also extraordinarily exposed to rising food prices."

The report states that In 2015 a trip to the grocery store for the average American for staples such as bread, milk, fruits and vegetables could look like the following:

 

  • A Loaf of Whole Wheat Bread
  • o Typical price in 2011: $1.85/lb
  • o Estimated price in 2015: $2.16/lb
  • A Gallon of Milk
  • o Typical price in 2011: $3.30
  • o Estimated price in 2015: $3.86
  • Ground Beef
  • o Typical price in 2011: $3.59/lb
  • o Estimated price in 2015: $4.371lb
  • Chicken
  • o Typical price in 2011: $3.21lb
  • o Estimated price in 2015: $4.37/lb
  • Broccoli
  • o Typical price in 2011: $1.91/lb
  • o Estimated price 2015: $2.15/lb
  • Bananas
  • o Typical price in 2011: $.60/lb
  • o Estimated price 2015: $0.68/lb
  • Margarine
  • o Typical price in 2011: $1.24/lb
  • o Estimated price in 2015: $1.51/lb

 Gesner says that monetary donations are key at times such as these. "Your donations allow us to purchase food items in bulk to provide meals for homeless at our shelter and housing programs.  It also enables us to buy food items like bread, vegetables, meats and other items for our food pantries throughout metro Atlanta."

Monetary donations may be made online at www.salvationarmyatlanta.org, or mailed to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 49247, Atlanta, GA 30359.

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