CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a one-two punch for some Chicagoans; loss of work from the pandemic, and now rising costs due to inflation.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams headed out to a food pantry in Logan Square that’s helping people who are finding it hard today to feed their families.
“There’s a whole new generation at our food pantry these days,” said Maggie Jordan, director of Chicago Hope Center.
Jordan said the people they serve were first hit hard by the pandemic, and now by inflation.
“They can’t make their dollars go the way they used to. Even shopping at some of the cheaper places is not helping them,” she said.
So they come to Chicago Hope. Deandra Green is a school safety worker who shared one example of sticker shock: the price of bleach.
“I usually pay 99 cents for it. Now it went up to $2.69. It’s very expensive,” she said.
“Rising grocery prices, rising fuel prices, rising home heating expenses are causing many more families across Chicago, Cook County, and beyond to make the difficult tradeoff between buying groceries or keeping the house warm,” said Jim Conwell, spokesman for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which provides food to hundreds of pantries in the city and suburbs.
Conwell said the Greater Chicago Food Depository is spending twice as much for food today as they were two years ago.
“Part of that is to keep up with the increased the demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s also because food prices are up,” he said.
Jordan said there’s real fear among the people they serve.
“A lot of people are very, very scared that they’re not going to able to feed their families,” she said.
That makes food pantries – like Chicago Hope – essential.
“We depend on this pantry. So we thank God for this pantry,” Green said.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository has a list of local food pantries on its website.