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Center for People in Need sees record numbers as grocery prices rise

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 9:26 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - You may have noticed it in the grocery aisles, prices for necessities are going up.

According to a new CNN study, from February to June, the price of cereal and fresh vegetables rose 4 percent, eggs rose 10 percent, and beef spiked 20 percent.

Those increases are leading to more need, and it isn’t just families feeling the strain of higher prices. Places like the Center for People in Need, which gives food to low-income people in the community, are also feeling the impact.

In July, the Center said it saw a record number of people, more than 1,400 families, come through its drive through food pickup. August is on track to set a new record.

Center for People in Need said it’s likely caused by a mixture of things; it’s higher grocery prices mixed with unemployment. People who have never been in this position before now have to stretch their dollar even further, the Center said.

“Since March, we’ve seen over 1,200 new people who have either gotten laid off, been unemployed, things like that,” said deputy director Steve Sheridan. “We know if people are coming here, we know that they need it.”

Most of the food handed out at the Center is from the Food Bank of Lincoln, another organization seeing more need this year.

”They’re getting slammed and we’re getting slammed because we distribute about 25 percent of the food that they get,” Sheridan said. “So, we’re a big partner for them to distribute the food. And we are taking trucks over there several times a week getting product.

Center for People in Need said it hasn’t seen a shortage yet, but it is getting harder to keep up with demand for food and diapers.

“People always think food, but other than food, people really need diapers right now,” Sheridan said. “That’s one of those things that’s really expensive and challenging for the working poor to fill that gap.”

Center for People in Need is offering drive through food pickup for low-income families Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and because of demand, you can only go through the line once a week.

You will need either your center card or a driver’s license to participate.

Sheridan said he anticipates continuing drive through food pickups through the end of the year.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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