Food price increases push more hungry people toward community kitchens

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Consumers are paying more for everything from gas to meat and it’s really starting to add up.

According to the Consumer Price Index food costs increased by half of one percent in April 2014. That may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that consumers are now paying over seven percent more for meat, chicken and eggs than they were just three years ago. Fruits and veggies jumped more than three percent. Overall food is costing more than two percent over what consumers paid for it in 2011.

So with inflation creeping back into the picture, especially in the grocery aisle, many families are taking drastic steps to cope.

With the rise in food prices, assistant Kenneth Cabean, at the Episcopal Community Kitchen, has noticed an increase in hungry people.

“First year it doubled. Second year it tripled, the fourth year, it’s even getting more,” he said.

Robbie Smith and her husband stop by the kitchen almost every day. The food prices forced Smith to forego the possibility of buying groceries.

“Even canned goods have gone up to where it’s even hard for us who are on disability ourselves, can barely make ends meet as it is,” said Smith.

She’s been married for 10 years. And when Smith is able to go to the store, she often chooses food with a long shelf life.

“A little bit of meat, a little bit of vegetables, and then I make a whole big pot of homemade soup that lasts a couple of days at least,” Smith said.

The Episcopal Community Kitchen is run on donations of food and time. Smith says it’s a relief knowing that a hot meal is there if needed.

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