You've probably noticed it when shopping for groceries — food is more expensive than it was last month or even this time last year. The rise in food costs is impacting Idahoans at the grocery store, but could also be the reason more Idahoans are going to food pantries.
The Consumer Price Index shows, across the country, food prices increased by 5.3% in the last year. This is the highest annual increase since January 2009.
Nationally, the Associated Press reports, this is impacting food banks and food pantries, forcing them to give smaller quantities of food to those who need it.
Ralph May, the executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Southwest Idaho said they're seeing a 60% increase of people coming to the food pantries since September, but they're doing okay on food supply right now. He expects this to change, though.
"Every year in January and February we see a real drop off in excitement to hold a food drive or to contribute to a food pantry," May said.
The other thing they expect to see in about a month — even more people in need of food.
"January many times will be an increased number of people coming through the pantries," he said.
May said the best thing people can do to help is to donate money. This way, St. Vincent de Paul can quickly address needs for certain food items.
For more information, or to donate, click here.