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Inflation Inflicts a Historic Shift on Food Bank of the Rockies’ Purchasing Power

fresh peppers and zucchini sitting in a bag with eggs and other foods in a food bank of the rockies box

Inflation is currently at a 40-year high — a hard reality that impacts all of us every day. While it’s something that affects each of us, for some of our neighbors, the hardships caused by inflation are much more severe. They are left with incredibly challenging choices, including: Do I pay my bills or do I buy enough food to nourish myself and my loved ones?  

Right now that choice is being made even more difficult as food inflation in the U.S. continues to be painfully high, eating away at peoples’ budgets and weighing especially heavily on people with lower household incomes, for whom groceries take up a larger portion of their income. 

Food inflation is hitting Food Bank of the Rockies’ budget, too. Even with our robust purchasing power and lower bulk pricing from agricultural and retail partners, some staple items currently cost upwards of 70% more year-over-year. Here is an example of how much some of our most commonly sourced produce items have increased in price compared to last year:  

  • Potatoes: 71% increase   
  • Sweet corn: 61% increase   
  • Onions: 50% increase    
  • Cucumbers: 39% increase
Woman stacking food bank of the rockies boxes at a mobile pantry site

These price hikes, as well as myriad other factors beyond our control — including an increased need for food in our community, a rise in fuel costs, and a reduction in donated and government commodity food supplies — means that for the first time in recent history, $1 now only allows us to distribute enough food for three meals, not four. 

So far this calendar year, Food Bank of the Rockies has distributed over 61 million pounds of food to people experiencing hunger in our community, the equivalent of over 49 million meals. Every day, our food sourcing team, operations team, drivers, programs team, volunteers, and everyone else on every level of the organization works to get as much nourishing food to as many people as possible.

Man holding jar of peanut butter next to canned goods, with a shopping cart behind him. Inflation is indeed a hurdle to fulfilling our mission of igniting the power of community to nourish our neighbors, but it is not an impossible barrier. We are here for the members of our community who need us to help make ends meet, to nourish themselves and their loved ones, and to alleviate the difficult choice between having enough food and taking care of life’s other necessities. 

You can help us help our neighbors, too: Monetary donations to Food Bank of the Rockies of any amount fuel our operations, and 96 cents of every dollar goes directly to programs that get food into the hands of people who need it most. Please consider donating today to join us in caring for our community. Thank you.

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