CNY Food Bank Prepares for Holidays Amid Surging Prices CNY Food Bank Prepares for Holiday Season Amid Surging Prices

Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News)- Nationwide inflation has soared to 30-year highs and supply shortages are crippling the economy right before the holiday season begins. As of October 2021, the inflation rate has risen to 6.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economist and Private Wealth Advisor  at Custom Wealth Management John Enright has been studying this economic issue. He believes that this situation is a complex situation that will last the entire holiday season and months after that.

“So, we are just seeing this, this significant number of different things that are coming together all at one time to create this crazy environment that we are seeing today,” Enright said.

Some of the factors that go into this inflationary period are:

  • high demand
  • “pent-up demand”-people who haven’t been able to get items that now are able to purchase them even if it means paying a higher price. Companies choose not to lower their prices if everyone is buying their goods at such a high price
  • supply chain issues such as low inventory and shipping delays
  • low employment rates because of low pay opportunities

This holiday season, the average household will have to make choices based off their finances that could be disrupted because of the surging prices. The “controllable factors” in this situation are the “wants” that families may have to cut back on to focus on having enough money to get necessities such as food or gas. Food and gas are “uncontrollable factors” in this situation and those industries are being hit the hardest.

Food prices are two to three times higher than they usually are in past years during the holiday season. For example:

  • the cost of canned green beans and peaches is up 9%
  • canned tuna up 6%
  • frozen holiday chickens up 13%
  • dry oatmeal up 17%,
  • a donated turkey for Thanksgiving costs $15 per bird compared to $10 in past years

In the food industry,  hundreds of food banks around the nation are being affected by these rising prices. This issue has caused the banks to either substitute food, give out smaller quantities of food, or turn away customers due to the lack of food.

As many food banks struggle, the CNY Food Bank has been able to stay on top of this problem as it prepares for the busy holiday season. The Food Bank prepared early this year for their always busy holiday season, but they didn’t realize that making some small changes would save them from being just another food bank that has supply issues.

CNY Food Bank Chief Development Officer Lynn Hy and her team do not have low inventory, do not have low volunteer levels, and they have not had to worry about buying donated food at higher prices.

“The food that we’re purchasing, we’re doing that months in advance; three to six months in advance of the holidays,” Hy said. “You know, there are supply chain issues in every product category we have, but sometimes it’s just a small tweak that we need to make.”

The only issue they have had to think about would be substituting foods in the same food category if one is more expensive or takes more time to receive. The CNY Food Bank is a local example of how to adapt when an economic issue happens and they fully plan on helping as many people that are in need during the holidays as possible.

The organization expects to hand out between 18 and 20 million pounds of food during the holiday months. The CNY Food Bank has hundreds of partner agencies and food pantry locations from Chenango to Saint Lawrence County where you can donate or receive food and supplies during this year’s holidays.


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