NewsCovering Kern County


Inflation, fluctuating economy makes it hard for families to put food on the table

Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Food Bank
Posted at 4:55 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 21:31:16-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — We are in the middle of summer, a time when many are planning vacations and outings. However, inflation and a fluctuating economy have impacts beyond just families taking trips. For many, it’s about getting food on the table or maintaining a roof over their head.

It has been a tough year for many families. That is why we see places like the Community Action Partnership of Kern food bank moving even faster to meet the needs of the community.

James Burger, the outreach and advocacy coordinator with CAPK, explains that for the most part, the organization has been helping on average 100,000 people in Kern County through its food bank programs.

"Of the 150 partners across Kern County that we distribute to, they are all asking for more food, because they are being asked for more food."

That is except for 2020 during the pandemic, but this year is also showing a slight increase in those seeking their programs.

"Two-point-seven million-pound increase in the amount of food we've distributed, so we've distributed 10.9 million pounds of food in those seven months, and that's up 2.7 million pounds," continued Burger.

That increase, Burger says is directly related to the overall economy

"When inflation hits, especially those we serve in the low-income communities, those facing poverty, that means food, that means shelter. It's the basics of life that are most impacted for them."

It’s a similar picture across the nation, as those in Washington hope to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.

"In terms of prescription drugs help people with health insurance coverage. Lower the cost of clean energy which is a big deal out in California. All of those are parts of the Inflation Reduction Act," says Jared Bernstein, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers for the White House.

Bernstein explains the idea is to cut costs for consumers in areas they are overspending in. The bill would use at least $260 billion over 10 years, would raise taxes on corporations and hedge fund owners as well as push for more use of clean energy.

But because that legislation passing will not make an immediate impact on the families currently struggling to put food on the table, those following gas trends say the recent decline in gas prices is a sign of hope.

"See this continuing into the fall so let's hope so for California consumers' sake let's hope these prices continue to drop," said Sot Kevin Slagle, a spokesperson with the Western States Petroleum Association.

For those in need of food, utility, or rental assistance, you can call 211 to get directed to programs that can help.