Aid groups feel the pinch of rising food and gas prices

Higher demand, lower supply
Dramatic increases in food and gas prices are leaving some religious hunger-relief groups praying for relief.

Problems were already apparent in 2006, but U.S. churches now report increased difficulty getting meals to people who need them. Food distributors see a perfect storm: a huge jump in requests from new clients, along with decreased donations and a thinning food supply.

Antihunger activists are experiencing severe challenges in at least two areas—a new farm bill they say is inadequate to meet current needs, and a drop in food supplies for local food pantries and soup kitchens.

The nearly $300 billion farm bill that cleared Congress in mid-May by veto-proof margins (318 to 106 in the House and 81 to 15 in the Senate) was deemed only “half a loaf” by David Beckmann, president of the ecumenical antihunger group Bread for the World.


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