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Economy

Food Banks Desperate For Help

As holidays approach, some food banks worry they won’t have enough stuffing and cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Food Banks

With food prices climbing to unprecedented levels, and severe supply chain troubles, food banks across the United States are struggling to feed families. Many Americans are frustrated with the soaring costs of food, but for families who already experience “food insecurity,” increased uncertainty is making their lives even more stressful. 

AP News reports, “Supply chain disruptions, lower inventory and labor shortages have all contributed to increased costs for charities on which tens of millions of people in the U.S. rely on for nutrition. Donated food is more expensive to move because transportation costs are up, and bottlenecks at factories and ports make it difficult to get goods of all kinds.”

According to the chief operating officer of the nonprofit Feeding America, Katie Fitzgerald, food banks expanded in response to the increased demands that resulted from the pandemic. Some food banks are making substitutions or stocking smaller sizes of food products such as canned goods. 

The Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland from the San Francisco Bay Area is reportedly spending an additional $60,000 a month on food costs, and $1 million a month to distribute 4.5 million pounds of food. Before the pandemic, however, they were spending just a quarter of that price for 2.5 million pounds of food. Oakland food bank’s Director of Community Engagement, Michael Altfest, explained that “the cost of canned green beans and peaches is up nearly 9% for them; [canned] tuna and frozen tilapia up more than 6%; and a case of 5-pound frozen chickens for holiday tables is up 13%. The price for dry oatmeal has climbed 17%.” 

In Colorado Springs, at the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, CEO Lynne Telford shares the staggering statistic that the cost of a truckload of peanut butter is up 80% from two years ago, mac and cheese is up 19% from one year ago, and ground beef went up 5% in just three months. 

The vice president of sales for Transnational Foods Inc., Bryan Nichols, shared that “[an] average container coming from Asia prior to COVID would cost about $4,000. Today, that same container is about $18,000.”

“It’s unclear to what extent other concurrent government aid, including an expanded free school lunch program in California and an increase in benefits for people in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will offset rising food prices. An analysis by the Urban Institute think tank in Washington, D.C. found that while most households are expected to receive sufficient maximum benefits for groceries, a gap still exists in 21 percent of U.S. rural and urban counties,” according to AP News. 

Families across the country are worried about being able to put food on the table on any given day, let alone the upcoming holidays. According to Feeding America, “42 million people may face hunger in the U.S. — including more than 13 million children.” They add, “Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in the U.S., including your own.” 

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Economy

Americans are paying the highest taxes and largest share of GDP ever

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“People are now paying more in total income taxes than ever, even considering the 2017 tax cuts signed by former President Donald Trump. And they will be paying significantly more when elements of those tax cuts expire in 2025” according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The Washington Examiner reports on the CBO’s analysis that the Treasury expects a 28% surge in individual income taxes this year. The analysis was presented to Congress on Thursday, and explained more income taxes are ahead in 2025 after the Trump tax cuts expire.

“Receipts from individual income taxes — the largest source of federal revenues — rose sharply in 2021 and are projected to do so again in 2022 as the economy recovers from recession and temporary provisions enacted in response to the pandemic expire. Those receipts are projected to rise again after 2025 because of the scheduled expiration of some provisions of the 2017 tax act,” read the report.

“In 2021, receipts from individual income taxes totaled $2.0 trillion, or 9.1% of GDP. Under current law, and on the basis of receipts observed through late April of this year, CBO expects individual income tax receipts to rise by 28% in 2022, to $2.6 trillion. At 10.6% of GDP, that total is expected to be the highest amount of individual income tax receipts recorded since 1913, when ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment authorized the federal government to begin collecting income taxes,” said the report.

Additionally, the CBO stated that the overall federal revenue is expected to reach a record $4.8 trillion in 2022, a 19% one-year increase. “The strong revenue growth in 2021 and 2022 results mostly from large increases in collections of individual income taxes. Total revenues in 2022 are projected to equal 19.6% of the nation’s gross domestic product — the largest annual revenues relative to the size of the economy since 2000.”

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