South Florida residents turn to food banks as inflation rises

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. – As the battle against inflation continues to rise, many South Florida residents are continuing to rely on food banks for hunger relief.

Local 10 News’ Cody Weddle spoke with J.D. Smith, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who said the rising costs of food are making it hard for people to live.

“Food costs so much that they need those extra resources to get to their next paycheck,” said Smith.

The office has partnered with Farm Share, one of the area’s largest food banks, to hand out three bags of food per household.

“It is fantastic, it is so much help. we need money right now, so it is a blessing,” said Desiel Parra, a food bank user.

For people like Parra, who recently lost her job, it’s a lifeline that prevents her family from going hungry.

Across the country, the rates of food insecurity, which is defined simply as not having enough food, have ticked up since August of last year.

In South Florida, the numbers are much more staggering.

Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, told Local 10 News that Florida has had one of the sharpest increases in hunger over the last year.

“The bottom line is that the federal government took away cash going to struggling families,” said Berg.

According to the federal government, after comparing this October to last, in just a one-week period, 20% more Floridians couldn’t access enough food.

Berg recently released a survey and report to track hunger rates across the country.

He blames the end of federal programs like the Expanded Child Tax Credit and universal free school lunches, coupled with inflation.

Tiffany Tevlin, who also uses food banks, told Local 10 News that the rising cost of food is quite noticeable.

“For the same eggs I used to buy, they were $3.00 something and now they’re $5.08. Food prices have just skyrocketed,” Tevlin said.

As a result of the rising costs of food, more people continue to turn to charities like food banks.

Many of those organizations now say their supply is running low as demand continues to grow.

About the Authors:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.