DANIA BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Rising prices at grocery stores have led to bigger lines at South Florida food pantries, as residents struggling to put food on the table expressed their frustrations at the current consumer inflation, especially when it comes to some important needs.
7News cameras captured shoppers wheeling carts filled with groceries out of the Publix supermarket in Dania Beach, Friday.
“Our families are just getting hit nonstop,” said Feeding South Florida CEO Paco Velez.
Families across South Florida are feeling the price hikes at the grocery store and the gas station.
“A year ago, it used to cost me $20 to fill my whole tank. Now, it’s almost $60,” said shopper Arbie Nickerson.
Those running local food pantries said they haven’t seen a need like this since the start of the pandemic, when cars would line up for blocks.
More than two years later, the lines are back.
“As inflation started to come in, we saw the need start going back up,” said Velez.
Cameras captured volunteers filling car trunks with bags and boxes at a food distribution held Friday.
Among those helping to distribute the food was J.D. Smith.
“The price of groceries has gone up so much that people are struggling,” he said.
A recipient who identified himself as Carlos said he’s grateful for the help.
“We don’t have enough money to go to the grocery store. We just come here and get the food,” he said.
Also on Friday, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation fed 400 families in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Among those waiting in line was Carla Lightbourn.
“The money that I would normally use to pay a bill, I have to use to buy food and to purchase gas,” she said.
Feeding South Florida is currently helping more than a million people in need. Families are able to come pick out what they need at their food pantry.
“This is a real blessing, because I cook all the time for seniors and different people in the community,” said a woman.
Inflation is the highest it’s been in 40 years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the cost of food is up 10.1%, electricity is up 12%, new cars are up 12.6%, airline fares are up 37% and gas is up 48%.
President Joe Biden said his top economic priority is getting these figures under control.
“COVID is down, but gas prices are up,” he said.
For many, the relief can’t come fast enough.
“It’s affecting me, because I’m on a fixed income, and normally, I’m able to manage my budget, but recently, I’ve not had enough finances to sustain myself,” said Lightbourn.
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