Higher-income earners visit food banks and shop at Walmart as food inflation rises

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Historically high inflation continues to hit Americans of all backgrounds, including high-income individuals and families who have been driven to Walmart, food banks and thrift stores due to the skyrocketing cost of groceries and goods.

Speaking with investors about the company’s second-quarter results this week, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon was asked if he saw Walmart benefiting in terms of increased market share as consumers trade in seeking lower prices to increase their budget. in the midst of skyrocketing inflation.

“I think in general we’re sticking to the bottom and adding to the top,” McMillon replied, referring to clients’ income levels.

Consumer prices rose 9.1% in June compared to the year before, which reached a new 40-year high for inflation after months of rising costs. Inflation slowed in July, with the consumer price index rising 8.5% from a year ago last month, but prices remain near a 40-year high.

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A cashier scans items at a Walmart store in Burbank, California on August 15, 2022. – Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, will report its second quarter results on August 16, 2022. ((Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)/Getty Images)

Food insecurity and tighter family budgets are perhaps nowhere more apparent than at the nation’s food banks, where industry leaders told Fox News Digital that middle-class families are becoming a staple in the longest queues some locations have ever seen.

“They’ve never had so many people in line,” Karen Erren, president and CEO of Feeding Westchester in New York’s Westchester County, told Fox News Digital about two of the distribution sites her food bank runs in the second-wealthiest county. of the country. the state.

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“We’ve seen even more of a shift with the middle class, especially when businesses closed and a lot of people were out of work because of COVID, we’ve seen that influx, and we’ve seen a lot of those people not being able to catch up the way they do.” thought they would have now,” Aramelle Wheeler, marketing and communications coordinator at the Northern Nevada Food Bank outside of Reno, told Fox News Digital.

Year-over-year inflation statistics for July 2022

July 2022 year-over-year food inflation statistics. (Fox Business/Fox News)

Wheeler says demand at FBNN is up 17% from last year, while Erren explained that her food bank served 130,000-150,000 people a month before the COVID-19 pandemic and now serves an average of more than 200,000 people a month.

Andrew Olsen, president of Altus Marketing, which works with food banks across the country, told Fox News Digital that he’s heard stories of partners where people who donated to food banks were queuing up and needing food themselves.

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“The traditional homeless person in need represents a very small percentage of the population who actually get food from the food bank network across the country,” Olsen said. “Mostly they’re single families, they’re retirees, they’re people who are just unlucky. The changing demographic needs have become a lot more families.”

Olsen added that rising inflation has also made it harder for food banks to source commodities like milk and eggs, which, along with rising fuel costs, has set off a “perfect storm.”

Thrift stores in the United States are also seeing a influx of consumers who want to save money on clothes they normally find in department stores, as well as school supplies, while kids go back to school for the fall.

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“Certainly we’ve been busy over the course of the pandemic, but over the course of the past two months there are numbers that we haven’t seen in a while,” Michael Acaldo, president and CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul from Baton Rouge, the attorney said this month.

Families are expected to spend $864 on school supplies this year, which is a 24% increase from 2019, according to the National Retail Federation.

In addition, the National Retail Federation says that about a third or 38% of consumers are cutting back on their overall spending to cover the cost of back-to-school items.

Food price inflation

A man shops in a Safeway supermarket in Annapolis, Maryland on May 16, 2022 ((Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

A US News & World Report survey found that 77% of Americans are concerned about being able to afford their school fees, and many of them turn to thrift stores to save money.

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At the same time, Americans of varying incomes across the country are struggling to afford basic commodities, as Democrats in Washington, D.C., are on a winning streak after passing a massive spending bill they dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act.”

“Today offers further evidence that America’s soul is alive, America’s future is bright, and America’s promise is real and just beginning,” President Biden said at the bill’s signing ceremony, praising the effects. that the bill will have on climate. change, prescription drug prices and deficit reduction.

Contrary to the bill’s name, the Congressional Budget Office said the legislation will have “negligible effect” on inflation by 2022, and by 2023, the impact would range between cutting inflation by 0.1% and cutting inflation by 0.1%. increase by 0.1%.

Despite the CBO analysis, the Biden administration has respected the bill’s name, while White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital this week that more than “120 leading economists and a bipartisan group of five former ministers of the Treasury have endorsed the Inflation Reduction Act underlines that it will reduce costs for families while also fighting inflation by reducing the deficit.”

Emma Colton and Breck Dumas of Fox News contributed to this report


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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