SAN ANTONIO – Jesus Martir says it’s been a struggle trying to feed a family of six after the pandemic impacted his job, and it doesn’t help that the cost of living is going up.
“Everything is getting more expensive,” he said.
Martir stopped by the San Antonio Food Bank for a hand with groceries. He says it’s been difficult to ask for help, but “sometimes you need to buy clothes or buy food.”
Eric Cooper, CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, says it’s been hard for families because the economy is not fully back yet.
“And until things are fully restored, we’re going to see a longer line here at the food bank,” Cooper said.
The cost of everything has been increasing since the pandemic started, and while some things have leveled out, others have not.
The Texas winter storm impacted the availability of cheaper local produce, causing retailers to bring in produce from California or Florida, adding to the cost of transportation.
According to the July Consumer Price Index report, food prices rose 2.4% in the last 12 months. The costs for eating out jumped even higher at a 4.2% increase.
Prices mostly rose due to the increase in meats, poultry, fish and eggs.
The cost for rent and other bills leaves little behind for groceries, Cooper said.
“We all have to eat. At the end of the day, we have to be nourished. It isn’t something we can remove from the household budget. So increased costs can be devastating to a family,” Cooper said.
While the cost of staples has increased in the past, at times, those prices don’t come down right away, or as much, he says.
Martir says it was his first time asking for help from the food bank, but he was very grateful and glad it’s available to him when there’s a need.