WASHINGTON DC — More families are turning to nationwide food banks as groceries and other bills get more expensive.

But as these food banks work to meet that demand, some centers are also feeling the pinch of higher food prices.

Feeding America operates approximately 200 food banks nationwide. The organization first said it was supply chain issues affecting their inventory, and now it’s high inflation.

Feeding America staff say the same high prices we see in grocery stores are affecting them, too.

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“We have to buy more food because we get less food donations and then we see more people coming to us for help because of the high cost of food,” said Zuani Villarreal, senior communications manager at Feeding. America.

In a recent survey, Feeding America says about 80% of food banks are reporting either the same level of demand or an increase from the previous month.

Villarreal said one thing that hasn’t changed is the reasons for the request.

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“The stories we hear are a lot of compromise, it’s a lot of desperation and it’s a lot of frustration,” Villarreal said. “Many families will pay one bill one month, delay other bills so they can still have money for food, and it’s just this game to pay that bill this month, the next one catching up on that. .”

As high inflation continues, Feeding America staff tell me they want the federal government to find better ways to reduce food waste.

“There are billions and billions of pounds of food that are wasted every year. If we had the will, if we had the commitments and the infrastructure in place, we could save this food,” Villarreal said.

This issue is also a major concern for the Biden administration as the White House prepares to host a summit on hunger, nutrition and health later this month.

Feeding America calls September Hunger Action Month and encourages people who can to donate supplies or their time.