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Mid-Michigan food pantries feel the strain as food prices spike

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:46 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Food prices are at an all time high, rising 6% over the past year. That’s putting a strain on food banks as they see an increase in demand and a higher price tag to stock food.

Jerry Norris runs The Fledge, which has its own food pantry.

“We’ve had such a food security problem before the pandemic and then the pandemic exacerbated that and now we’re going to see people shifting from being able to help to now needing the food and it’s going to keep shifting that way every time it goes up a percent,” said Norris.

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Norris said the more costs rise the fewer people it can help. He says it’s a cycle they feared was coming.

“We didn’t purchase food for maybe 6-9 months in 2020 because it was coming so well. So were using that money on housing and other things and now we’ve got to put some aside to shop ourselves for it,” said Norris.

The Fledge isn’t the only group noticing more people in need of food. Other resources throughout the community said they’re being stretched. Kelly Miller, with the Greater Lansing Food Bank, said they have seen an 18% increase in people in need of food the past year.

“Where we’ve seen the most dramatic rise the past year has been actually getting the food to our food bank. It really is that plus the cost of food is really affecting us,” said Miller.

She said the most expensive food items that people are struggling to find are their main priority.

“While folks are having trouble at the grocery store we’re still working to provide fruits and vegetables and dairy products proteins, things that really do cost a lot more right now,” said Miller.

More: Community news

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