Between rising grocery prices and staggering unemployment, food banks see increase in demand

Local food banks are asking for volunteers to help meet the increased demand for food as grocery prices skyrocket amid near-record unemployment. 

Newly-revised data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that since February, beef prices have spiked 20 percent, with eggs rising ten percent, poultry prices up nine percent and pork increasing by 8.5 percent. 

This comes as supply chains were interrupted by drastic shifts in demand, which was triggered by the pandemic, along with COVID-19 outbreaks at processing plants across the U.S. For Florida households, the spike in prices could not have come at a worse time. 

With unemployment stuck near record levels as the nation struggles to contain the virus, new jobless numbers Thursday show nearly 1.2 million laid-off Americans applied for state unemployment benefits last week.

Adding insult to injury, a $600 weekly unemployment bonus expired in July and lawmakers in Washington D.C. have been slow to compromise on how to extend economic relief. 

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Feeding Tampa Bay is a member of Feeding America, which estimates that one in six Americans could face hunger as a result of this pandemic, with many of them seeking help for the first time.

If you need assistance, visit Feeding Tampa Bay's website.  You can also find volunteer opportunities on the non-profit's website.