Monday, April 21, 2008

Rising Food Prices Hurt the Poor Locally and Globally

The rising cost of food is taking a toll on people and charities at home and abroad. In the United States skyrocketing food prices are have the greatest impact on the nation’s food banks. For example:

  • In Pennsylvania “food pantries are reporting that demand has increased anywhere from 30 percent to 400 percent, and many are dangerously low on food supplies.”
  • A Michigan food pantry that used to serve 1,500 families now assists 4,000 families.
  • A food bank in Illinois that “usually has about 3 million pounds of food in stock . . . now has only about 1.5 million pounds due to the sharp increase in client demand.”

You can browse Charity Navigator’s ratings of over 130 local food banks to find a food bank near you to support with your donations of food or money.

Internationally, the sharp rise in food prices has sparked protests and riots all over the world, including Egypt, Indonesia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Peru, the Philippines, Haiti, Bangladesh, and South Africa. The dramatic increase in the cost of food has affected some of the world’s poorest people and the organizations that provide them with aid. The price of a metric ton of rice, for example, has risen from $460 in early March to near $780 now. If you would like to assist international aid groups affected by rising food prices, you can select from this list of charities fighting hunger around the world.

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