Soaring prices force families to turn to food banks as inflation also hurting food pantries

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A truck filled with groceries brought a sigh of relief for the Franquiz family Saturday morning.

“I’m a lung transplant patient and my medical bills are through the roof,” Rita Franquiz said. “My whole paycheck goes to health insurance.”

Farm Share hosted a food distribution event at The Truth Church in Sandalwood on Saturday and Rita and Tony Franquiz were among those in line for fresh produce and other necessities.

“Have you ever heard of working poor? That is us. We are both working for a living,” Tony Franquiz said. “We are still struggling and trying to get by. It is hard nowadays and times are tough and this helps us and helps a lot of people out there.”

Families are not the only ones struggling with inflation rates soaring.

According to Feeding America, food banks across the country are buying nearly as much food as they did last year, but are paying 40% more for that food. In the Labor Department’s most recent consumer price index, the price of food at grocery stores in March was 10% higher than in March 2021 and the price for food in restaurants was nearly 7% higher.

“Times are tough. The price of groceries has gone way up,” said Tony Franquiz.

Rita Franquiz said she is not sure what her family would do without Farm Share.

“We were in the red all the time. Now we are finally being able to at least get a little bit of savings out of it,” said Rita Franquiz.

The Franquizes said they can breathe easier, knowing they have more food to put on the table.

Farm Share is also preparing for a big food drive next Saturday called “Stamp Out Hunger.”

You can participate by collecting canned goods or non-perishable items and leaving them next to your mailbox for your mail carrier to pick up or dropping them off at a local post office for Farm Share to collect.

About the Author:

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.