Just as more and more people find jobs following a record-breaking period of unemployment, food prices are now on the rise. And sharply:
Consumers’ wallets continue to take the hit, as the latest batch of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that prices were up 0.5% in February on higher food and energy costs, while real average hourly earnings fell by the same amount, as the workweek and wages remained stagnant but suffered at the expense of rising inflation. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy costs and is thus preferable by the Federal Reserve, gained 0.2% on rising new vehicle, health care, and shelter costs. While the economic recovery in the US seems to be gaining traction, consumers seem to be lagging behind as an elevated 8.9% rate of unemployment and stagnant wages eat into the purchasing power of the country’s greatest contributor to growth.
The numbers, which reflect the evolution of prices through the month of February, was pushed up mainly by the expected rise in commodity prices, specifically food and energy. The food index gained 0.6% for the month, with the BLS’ food at home index up 0.8%, providing a direct hit to consumers and showing its greatest gains since July ’08. Fruits and vegetables up 2.2% and meats up 1.9% amount to a pickup in food-inflation that will affect consumers’ spending elsewhere, as they juggle stagnant wages and rising costs. [emphasis mine]
Food, as we all know, is a necessary basic. And as the cost of this necessary basic rises dramatically, the working poor will have fewer dollars left over for things like gas, which is also rising in price.
While Modest Needs does not help specifically with food costs, the foundation does help with other necessary basics like housing, transportation, medical bills and accessibility equipment. So when food costs eat giant holes into a family's budget, there is little left over for mortgage and car notes.
This means that now is a good a time as any to tell someone about Modest Needs. Whether it be someone who may need one time assistance or someone who would be happy to help someone else with one, getting the word out about Modest Needs is crucial. All too often we hear that someone had never heard of Modest Needs before turning to our charity.
You can help change that.
Spread the word.
[Photo by sporkist]