Higher grocery prices have hurt consumers, but many Americans are also struggling to fill their shopping bags with basic staples like milk, eggs and packaged foods as pandemic-triggered labor shortages and other supply chain problems prevent stores from restocking quickly and efficiently.
Yet for pantries and food banks, the problem is even more consequential because such services rely heavily on subsidized bulk food purchases and food donations from stores and other providers to build adequate supply to meet the needs of the community.
An industrywide supply crunch means the volume of donated supplies also dips.
Other types of food are going up quickly, too. The price of frozen beef has gone up by almost 12 per cent in the past year, while ham and bacon are up by about 15 per cent.
Kendra Sozinho, a manager at the Fiesta Farms grocery store in Toronto, says costs from suppliers are going up faster than she’s ever seen “We’re seeing almost every single supplier increasing their pricing which then increases our pricing,” she told CBC News in an interview. “I’ve been here for 20 years and I’ve never seen a jump like this.”