Tazelaar said prices for some foods, such as dairy products and eggs, have remained fairly stable. However, prices for other items, especially meat and canned goods, have increased significantly, he said, adding that the price of ground beef – even at wholesale – has also increased by 44 percent.
“Those are the big categories,” said Tazelaar. “We go through a lot of meat. We go through a lot of canned items.”
Those most affected by higher grocery bills, he said, are those who have visited grocery stores, and increased costs at grocery stores could mean greater dependence. into grocery stores or turn to cheap, unhealthy food options.
Monday’s harvest saw a 60% increase in the number of people needing food assistance at the height of the pandemic. While the numbers have dropped, demand is still 22% above pre-pandemic levels, Tazelaar said. In addition to higher costs, food banks also face supply chain disruptions, Tazelaar said. In one example, he said the delivery of a truckload of peanut butter was expected in three weeks instead of three months.
According to Osborn-Senatus, River is seeing a drop in the amount of food it recalls from grocers and retailers as products near or near the end of their shelf life. Over the past few months, on average, the nonprofit received 7,000 fewer pounds of food recalls than usual from 110 weekly stops at Madison-area retailers, she said.