Home Organization Food and commodity price increases could stress local service organizations as the holidays approach | New

Food and commodity price increases could stress local service organizations as the holidays approach | New

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CLARKSBURG, Va. (WV News) – Community service organizations caring for individuals and families during the holiday season may face more difficulties this year as prices for food and other commodities rise and problems with the supply chain supply persist.

In the 12-month period ending in September, consumer prices overall rose 5.4%, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the overall price of groceries increased 4.5% during this period, meat, poultry, fish and eggs saw a much larger price increase of 10.5% over the course of this period. of the year. Beef prices rose 17.6%, according to the office.

This has some leaders of food insecurity organizations and programs concerned about what the future may bring as the holidays approach.

Each year, the Clarksburg Salvation Army offers a free Thanksgiving dinner to anyone in the community who arrives in search of a meal or companionship.

While The Salvation Army tries to buy non-perishable food and collect donations from the community and businesses in the area early on, it is likely that the organization will purchase perishable items as the season approaches. having dinner.

“We haven’t really seen how much it’s going to be right now, but if the prices stay like that, then, yeah, it’s going to hurt us. We will need more help to do this, ”said Major Eric Roberts.

Hannah Povroznik, founder of the Boxing It Up to Give Thanks program, which provides Thanksgiving meals to families in North Central West Virginia and mentoring opportunities for young people, said the fundraiser should respond to the goal of the program to distribute 1,000 boxes of food for Thanksgiving. .

Finding 1,000 turkeys and making sure they will be there for distribution amid trucker shortages has also proven difficult, she said.

“We remain in a global pandemic. Despite their persistence, food centers are definitely hit by inflated prices and shortages, ”said Povroznik.

While federal stimulus payments and government initiatives related to the pandemic have helped some segments of the population, rising prices have created greater hardship for some. This is especially true for seniors on fixed incomes, according to Misty Tennant, director of the Soup Opera at Fairmont.

The Soup Opera collects food for Christmas boxes, but also provides food to community members on an ongoing basis.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of seniors who want bags of groceries,” Tennant said.

So far, Soup Opera has been able to meet this increased demand, but “for the next few weeks, maybe not so much. As prices continue to rise and we see more and more people coming for bags of food, we need to donate more food, ”she said.

Supply chain issues could also impact the Salvation Army’s Clarksburg Angel Tree program at Christmas. Many experts have warned that supply issues could be exacerbated as the Christmas shopping rush arrives. Roberts encouraged anyone considering sponsoring an angel this year to consider buying gifts early and then picking a child who matches the gifts.

Tennant also hopes that those who wish to donate will purchase hats, gloves, sweatshirts and new toys for the Soup Opera’s Christmas campaign early.

Roberts said that while he remained on the lookout for price increases, he was ultimately confident things would work out.

“I’m not really worried at the moment. I think the Lord has blessed us and he will bless us. He always has and always will, ”said Roberts. “It’s just the faith I have in God that helps me not to worry too much, but … things can happen anyway.”

Senior writer JoAnn Snoderly can be reached at 304-626-1445, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter at @JoAnnSnoderly.