TAMPA, Florida – It’s no secret that the pandemic has created a financial and food crisis for many.
Matthew Spence, chief programs officer for Feeding Tampa Bay, says he saw it firsthand.
“We know that more people need food today than they did two years ago,” he said.
The nonprofit says those who are hardest hit will have to make tough decisions to stay afloat.
“People with food insecurity already make a lot of compromises. Do I delay an invoice here or there? How much do I feed my dog or cat? Can I pay for my medicine this month? “Said Spence.
Economists like USF Professor Michael Snipes say for some that these decisions will only get more difficult.
“25 cents plus 25 cents plus 25 cents will add up very quickly,” he said.
This comes after Dollar Tree, a staple food for many high earners, announced it would raise certain prices by at least 25 cents.
“That definitely has the potential to really affect the cost of living and the standard of living that some lower-income people might experience,” said Snipes.
He predicts the price hikes will force more people out of grocery stores and into donation lines, which he thinks is bad for us all.
“That has the potential to affect the size and growth of the economy,” said Snipes.
Given this grim reality, Feeding Tampa Bay says they are preparing.
“We know the need will increase, and we know our services are needed now more than ever,” said Spence.
Snipes hopes our state and federal governments can step in to help.
“If we look at the people who are more negatively affected, we can focus the policy on those specific people,” he said.
Feeding Tampa Bay encourages anyone who needs help to reach out to them. They also hire when they are looking for work. Click here to learn more.