Economic Challenges Look to Strain Family Budgets in 2023
On behalf of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and the people we serve, I would like to extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for the kindness and compassion you shared with our community in 2022.
On the heels of the pandemic, families trying to recover were hit with a second big blow to their pocketbooks from record-high inflation, rising gasoline prices and rising prices on the majority of the most basic household food items.
Through it all, you were there to support us to make sure families, seniors and most importantly children had access to good food and reliable meals. For that, we are truly thankful.
As we enter 2023, both working and non-working families will face economic challenges that will force them to make difficult decisions in the midst of the ongoing pressures on their finances. While wage increases continue to significantly lag the rate of inflation and interest rates are also climbing, families and seniors are having to prioritize their homes, heating costs and medications over food.
In just the last two months of 2022, we witnessed a 15% rise in local food insecurity. As we all struggle with these economic challenges, we anticipate the need will continue to grow in 2023.
With your help, we will answer the call to serve others and fulfill our mission of feeding those in need.
We have invested in new warehouse management software that will improve our efficiency and allow us to move larger volumes of food through our warehouse more efficiently which means faster deployments to our font-line agencies. We continue purchasing palletized bulk product and packaging it in our Bulk Repacking Room. This allows us to distribute a larger volume of individually packaged food at a lower cost per pound by packaging it ourselves.
There will be much work to be done this year to reach individuals and families in need across our 11-parish service area and, with your help, our team is ready to meet the challenge.
We are thankful for the trust you place in us and your continued support of our mission by volunteering time, collecting food, and donating funds to help us meet these challenges. With your continued support and generosity, we will be there to help feed our neighbors in need once again.
Michael G. Manning
President & CEO, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank