DENVER (KDVR) – Summer is typically the time of year families spend some of their hard-earned cash on vacations and recreation, but this year, high prices may be keeping folks home a bit more.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new numbers Friday that revealed the national inflation rate rose to 8.6% in May. That’s the fastest rate it’s risen in 31 years and it is hitting people hard here at home.
The high prices of food are front and center in this new report. At places like Food Bank of the Rockies, it is affecting everything they do.
Aditi Desai, the organization’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, said the organization is dealing with the sting of inflation on every front.
“It’s not only hitting the consumers but it’s hitting organizations like us that buy in bulk,” Desai said. “Due to a number of different factors including inflation, Food Bank of the Rockies is spending $1.3 million each month to purchase food and that’s triple what we were spending in 2019.”
We all know the cost of fuel is going up but new numbers show the year-to-year gain in food prices went up by 10.1% compared to this time last year.
“Everything from freight, fuel to product costs have gone up dramatically,” Desai said. “For example, canned fruit has gone up by 34%, vegetable oil has gone up by 54%, we have a lot of our protein products. I mean spaghetti has gone up. I mean things you wouldn’t think, all your routine kind of shelf-stable items that any home would have, have gone up.”
On top of the high cost, sources of donations are down too.
“We’ve seen a slight decrease in donated food products which has hit us hard and so we are leaning really heavily on community support to fill that gap in purchasing food,” said Desai.
Despite the hikes everywhere, the group said they continue to meet the needs of people across the state; including many coming for help for the first time.
“We’re continuing to purchase the food we need to be able to meet this increased need regardless of price. So our community is what is really helping us get enough food out the door to help us meet the food needs of community members right now due to an inflation and a continued pandemic,” Desai said.
While the group is grateful for food donations, the best way to help them is by giving money. To find food, give or sign up to volunteer, visit their website or call them at 303-371-9250.