Inflation increases demand at the Sacramento Food Bank

The Sacramento Food Bank said since the start of March, they have seen a 40% increase in their service numbers as prices continue to rise.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As inflation in California reaches the highest it has been in 41 years, food banks across the Greater Sacramento region are seeing a surge in community members seeking help.

The Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, which is the largest nonprofit provider of basic human needs in the county, said they have seen a drastic increase in the number of people seeking their services.

Kevin Buffalino, the director of communications for the Sacramento Food Bank, said many of the people coming to them for assistance are seeking their services for the first time.

“Since the start of March when inflation began to rise, we have seen a 40% increase in our service numbers,” Buffalino told ABC10.

According to Buffalino, nearly one-third of a low-income household’s budget is spent on food. Many households are left searching for another source of food as inflation drives up the price of food, eating away at their overall budget.

“Inflation is causing many families to choose between rent, gas, and putting food on the table,” Buffalino said. “Our neighbors are hurting and turning into our organization for groceries during this difficult time.”

These high prices are also causing the Sacramento Food Bank to face challenges in meeting the demand of food-insecure families across the county.

“Although we receive a lot of donations for various sources, in times of high demand we have to go out and purchase food to meet this demand,” Buffalino said.

According to Buffalino, a dozen eggs they were buying for a wholesale price of around 90 cents in December, they are now buying for around $2.25.

Additionally, Buffalino said the price of gas is impacting their services as they have a fleet of 10 trucks consistently making deliveries to food pantries and partner agencies across the region.

“These increased prices have caused our operation expenses needed to continue providing the community with food to skyrocket,” Bufallino said. “During these difficult times of high inflation, we are having a little bit more difficulty meeting the demand of these food-insecure families.”

According to Buffalino, in order to continue serving the community, they need financial donations from the community.

“For every $1 donated, we can turn that into five meals to help those in need,” Buffalino said.

The Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services encourage community members interested in making a donation and helping them meet this demand to do so on their website.

Watch more from ABC10: Survey: 1 in 3 Californians suffering because of inflation, economy