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    Food banks struggle to meet holiday demands with rising prices

    Inflation is driving up food prices, and food stamp benefits have been slashed as pandemic funding ran out. Food banks might not have enough to give this holiday season either.

    Since 2019, prices for a traditional turkey dinner have gone up 25%. Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is one of the biggest local organizations for charitable giving, and even they’re struggling to keep up this season.

    “Hams are really expensive this year,” said Debbie Christian, executive director for Auburn Food Bank. “So, for a ten-pound ham, we’re spending $30 on a ham. But you need to make sure that the family [at least has] the meat.”

    “I got butter on sale the other day for $3 a pound,” Christian said. “That was $0.99, so something that small and there’s your increase in price. So for us to make those purchases, make sure that Thanksgiving and Christmas, having enough food for all them—we’re observing those prices.”

    “I don’t have enough in the produce part, I don’t have enough dessert, I don’t have enough bread,” Christian said.

    “Families, especially,” said Brian Chandler, Seattle UGM director of external affairs. “Women and children in that capacity. We see people living in their cars and in RVs, and being able to meet that expanding need has been tougher and tougher with the economy, as well.”

    “Economy tanks, prices go up considerably, and now all of us are hurting and it’s not just that low-income family that’s hurting, it’s not middle-class,” Christian said. “Everybody is hurting with the prices.”

    Organizations like UGM are asking for help this Thanksgiving. If you don’t have money to donate, call your nearest food bank and see how you can donate time. A lot of places need help packing and distributing food, so you can give back that way.


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