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Inflation impacts San Diego County food banks

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 19:47:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Inside the San Diego Food Bank, volunteers are hard at work sorting food for the thousands facing food insecurity in San Diego county.

The food bank is now bracing to feed more because of inflation.

"Just as people were starting to recover from the pandemic, we're now seeing because of inflation the cost of everything going up," said Casey Castillo, CEO of the San Diego Food Bank.

Castillo has been with the food bank for 14 years and says it is seeing a lot of similarities between now and the great recession.

He said the only difference is inflation.

"Inflation right now is not only hurting our recipients. It's hurting our donors and their disposable income and what they can give and it's impacting us," Castillo said. "Everything is more expensive."

He said the food bank is seeing food purchases spike anywhere from 15 to 30 percent.

"We're hearing from all of our non-profit partners. We partner with over 500 of them. These are non-profits that have feeding programs throughout San Diego County," Castillo said. "What we're hearing from them is that their service population is increasing."

Father Joe's Villages is one of those partners.

Deacon Jim Vargas is the President and CEO and said this year Father Joe's is already on track to feed 25 percent more people than last year.

He said he's seeing inflation impact low-income individuals which is the population the organization serves.

"These individuals who are less able to absorb these food increases, these food price increases are the ones being impacted. That's why we have more people coming to us for support in this regard and we're happy to be able to provide for that," said Deacon Vargas.

Both food distributors tell those who might be struggling not to be shy because they are there to help.

ABC 10News also reached out to Feeding San Diego. A spokesperson said it is also feeling the impacts of inflation but is still working to meet the needs of the community.

You can find a food bank near you here.