From bare shelves in food pantries to bare shelves in animal shelters, the effects of inflation are being felt by all families as rising costs cause demand for pantries to skyrocket.
“The shelves are not full because the food is moving,” says Gianna Santelli of Isaiah House.
Isaiah House is a family shelter and pantry in East Orange. Demand for food in pantries has increased in the last month alone, Santelli said.
“Last month alone, we served 415 children and 350 families, so we are seeing the numbers coming in,” says Santelli.
Going to the food pantry used to be how families got their food supplements. But now it has become a primary source of information for some. The family used to be able to come to the pantry once a month for her one bag of food filled with dinner staples. Some come back again and again.
“The need is so great that we’ve expanded it with a community food bank in New Jersey. They’re sending more food here, so we can send more food,” Santelli says. .
They see similar struggles at a nearby Montclair animal shelter. Pet food donations decreased and the number of surrendered pets increased.
According to the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, many pets have been surrendered because they can no longer afford to keep them.
“They are out of work or underemployed and can’t afford to pay their veterinary bills,” says shelterer Liz Morgan. “People are being evicted. They are losing their homes.”
And for those fighting to keep pets, it’s an uphill battle.
The number of people coming in for cat and dog food has doubled,” says Morgan. “We’re cutting food down to a few bags … the need is increasing. We have a lot this year. People are really suffering.”
Inflation rose at its fastest pace in 40 years this month. Its sphere of influence is wide-ranging, so Americans are seeing its effects in unexpected places.
Both Isiah’s House and Montclair Township Animal Shelter are looking for someone to help consider donations.