More Hungry People, Less Food

File this is sustainable food, poverty, homelessness, and probably a dozen other overlapping issues.

It’s not just AIG and Bank of America anymore. Nick Turse in Salon is reporting that’s not only the money banks that need a bailout, our nation’s food banks are coming up short too.

Food bank representatives agree on one thing: The need for their services is spiking in a way none of them can recall. Again and again, they emphasize that lines at food pantries are growing longer, seemingly by the month, and that those in line are younger and often more middle class than ever before.

I never thought I’d see the day when there would be more hunger in the U.S. This is not to diminish the problem of hunger worldwide — there’s plenty of it, and more to come — but I’ve just always gone on the assumption that there isn’t a lack of food in this country; there’s a lack of healthy food. Around the world, overnutrition is becoming a bigger problem than undernutrition.

But here we are. Turse writes that food banks are facing a perfect storm of economic trouble, with less donated food coming into food banks and rising food costs across the country (example: the wholesale cost of a case of pasta has risen by 88% in the last three years). The result is that as more and more people are losing their jobs, there’s higher and higher demand for food from the food banks, and the food prices are going up too, creating even less available food that than there would have been if only the demand had risen.

One ray of sunshine: more people are donating food to the shelters. But the food banks aren’t sure it’s enough to balance out the increased demand and higher prices.

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