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Local pantries anticipate inflation bringing more people in need

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The Labor Department reveals inflation is at a near 40-year high after consumer prices skyrocketed by 7% in December. Some people in the Tri-States have turned to food pantries to help offset those high grocery store prices.

Nancy Dean was volunteering at Horizons Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry on Friday morning. Having been there for five years, she said lately she’s found herself in a pinch.

“There are more people coming here because they need the food. Pantries that have been using all the food, you know, having to go through food pantries, because the prices and all, pork has gone ALL the way up and Horizons and other places help,” Dean said.

Dean said she’s seen a lot more new faces show up at Horizons in her situation. She says her food stamps don’t cut it.

“I just can’t make it. It’s hard. I mean, the meats, you used to be able to get family packs for 6, 7 bucks, ...now it’s up to 12, 13 dollars. And food stamps that they give you...ain’t enough,” Dean said.

Organizers at Horizons Soup Kitchen & Pantry said that normally at this time of year, things start to slow down, combining winter weather with people on disability having a hard time getting over there and the fact that the holidays are now over.

“At the beginning of the month, people have had their budgets renewed, who are on fixed incomes people are out taking care of their bills, meeting their own needs,” Geissler said.

But, Geissler thinks inflation could very well have people flocking to the pantries soon enough.

“It may take no effort whatsoever to bounce back and start seeing more people come in, especially as this inflation continues to wear on more and more people may start to use services like this throughout the region,” Geissler said.

Dean observed it’s become much busier now than it was five years ago.

“There’s new people here right now that I haven’t seen before,” Dean said.

Geissler encourages anyone who starts getting to the point where their budgets are getting squeezed to ask for help before they face more financially desperate situations.

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