San Diego Food Bank needs donations, volunteers amid rising inflation rates


SAN DIEGO – U.S. labor officials say inflation rates are the highest on record across the country since 1990 and food banks are struggling to keep up with rising prices as more people are in need this holiday season.

Alan Gin, an economics professor at University of San Diego, said prices are soaring for several reasons but there are two main factors.

“We were still in a slump last year, so the economy was not very strong. As a result of that, prices were low. Now that the economy’s reviving, that’s giving a boost to things,” Gin said. “One thing it’s causing is supply chain problems.”

Issues with the supply chain mean shortages, which leads to higher prices. The spike is taking a toll on our nation’s food banks.

“Everywhere you can think of the prices are increasing,” said Casey Castillo, interim CEO at San Diego Food Bank.

Castillo said with rising costs, fewer donations are coming in and more families are asking for help.

“A normal year, we’ll spend a million, two million on food purchases. This year, we’re going to spend over 10 million,” he said.

Castillo said the food bank is serving 550,000 people locally, which is up from 200,000 pre-pandemic.

“We are serving food insecurities across the board,” he said. “These are families, again, they may be working, they may be a single income family that’s just barely getting by and they’re having to choose between food and paying rent, food and paying utility bills.”

With the holidays right around the corner, even more families will likely be in need. The San Diego Food Bank is asking the community to donate food, money or time to help out.

“The price has nearly doubled to purchase turkeys, so it’s harder to find them and they’re more expensive. But we’re going to go ahead and do what we can to meet that need,” Castillo said.

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