There is also concern right now about what lies ahead in terms of the fall and winter seasons.
Fox News Digital spoke to Katie Fitzgerald, president and COO of Feeding America, on Friday by phone to discuss what the organization is seeing — and she described “a perfect storm” of situations that are making things extremely challenging in terms of meeting the demands of the food insecure in this country.
“The crisis that we’re seeing right now is, in our judgment, in some ways worse than what we saw at the height of the pandemic,” Fitzgerald said in the phone interview.
Today, “it’s driven largely by inflationary pressures,” she said. “We don’t see the root causes in terms of food insecurity [being] the same as when the economy essentially was shut down [amid the COVID pandemic] — that was more driven by people losing their income.”
Instead, right now, “it’s simply that people are having to make economic tradeoffs. And what they’re having to cut is their food, when everything’s so much more expensive.”
“The reason it’s worse in some ways, in our point of view,” she added, “is that the corollary supports that helped us get us through the surge in food insecurity during the pandemic are really not available to us. And the food banks are dealing with this inflation.”
Fitzgerald ticked off three specific concerns.
“Food donations are down — and that is because of the ongoing tightness in inventory and the ongoing supply chain challenges that are driven by a variety of forces.”
“Government commodity food is way down,” she added, “compared to some programs that were in place during the height of the pandemic. And food banks distribute a lot of government commodity food.”