A study released on Nov. 20 found that high prices of food are having a significant impact on Americans' willingness to donate food during the 2023 holiday season. It was conducted by technology company Divert, Inc., which focuses on food waste reduction.
Even though inflation eased to roughly 3.2 percent year-over-year in October from its recent peak of nine percent in June 2022, the cumulative increase since President Joe Biden took office has been around 20 percent. And despite the latest data showing that the pace of grocery cart inflation has fallen to 2.1 percent as of October 2023, the cumulative impact on U.S. consumers has been significant as it is curbing their capability to donate food.
The study found a massive drop in the willingness of Americans to make charitable food donations this holiday season compared to the last. In 2022, 46 percent of Americans said they were more likely to donate to food banks during that year's holiday season. However, this year, only 25 percent expressed likelihood of donating to food banks – despite the expected surge in the demand this holiday season.
"Those who are donating less to food banks this season cite increasing food and grocery costs as the number one reason driving their decision," the paper indicated.
As food insecurity becomes prevalent, an increased demand for food bank use is expected. According to household food security data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the hunger problem in the country is growing rapidly. Seventeen million households reported food insecurity in 2022, up significantly from 2021 (13.5 million households) and 2020 (13.8 million households). This only means that 44 million people lived in food-insecure households in 2022, which is a 31 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Moreover, the Feeding America network said in a recent press release that there has been an increase in demand for food assistance this year. The group, which manages over 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, blamed high food prices for this. This year, more people are expected to turn to food banks and other charitable food providers because the high prices of groceries are making food less affordable for many families, the organization added.
Meanwhile, food inflation isn't just sapping people's propensity to donate to food banks, it is also having a significant impact on other consumer behaviors. Now, nearly 72 percent of Americans changed their grocery shopping habits in 2023 due to high inflation and food costs, the Divert study further indicated. This includes 76 percent of households shopping for discounted food and 17 percent saying they're eating more food that's past its prime.
President Joe Biden's Department of Labor claimed that inflation overall is cooling. (Related: Food shortages and inflation continue as "Bidenomics" SPECTACULARLY FAILS.)
However, numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that menu prices at restaurants and other food service companies climbed 5.4 percent in October compared to the previous year. This is above overall inflation, which stood at 3.2 percent on an annual basis last month and more than double the pace of inflation for groceries.
Meanwhile, some of the steepest price hikes occurred at fast-food restaurants, with prices at limited-service restaurants up 6.2 percent over the past year. Full-service restaurants have hiked their prices by 4.3 percent over the past year. Posts on social media that touted McDonald's meals that cost as much as $16 have gone viral.
"Our average pricing level in the U.S. business for the full year will be just over 10 percent," Ian Borden, the company's CFO claimed. Even so, he noted that the size of the increases started to decline in the third quarter.
The Golden Arches' costlier menu has been met with a drop in business from low-income customers, "which we would say is $45,000 and under and was negative from an industry standpoint," McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski told analysts. "That part of the business, we're seeing traffic in the quarter was down."
Head over to Bubble.news for more stories related to the ever-soaring prices of food in the market.
Watch Gregory Mannarino discuss the syrocketing food inflation and how the yield curve inverts even more.
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