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Belle Glade food pantry expecting need to increase with inflation

Posted at 5:23 PM, May 10, 2022

BELLE GLADE, Fla. — A food pantry in Belle Glade is preparing for a double whammy as the cost of food soars.

More than an hour before the doors opened Tuesday, a line snaked down the sidewalk outside The Glades Initiative's food pantry in Belle Glade.

Inside, Corey Burroughs was stacking boxes of food and canned vegetables, which were being handed out to families in need.

A few months ago, Burroughs was a client receiving the needed help. Now he's also working here part-time to earn extra money as the cost of food and virtually everything has gone up with inflation.

"It's more helpful with the economy and the prices and stuff. I'm not gonna say helpful, it's a blessing," Burroughs said.

Americans are paying about 10% more for food at the grocery store than a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statitstics.

That is driving more people to this pantry.

"So we average 350 families every week and starting in April we started to see that climb," said Karis Engle, the president and CEO of The Glades Initiative.

Engle said inflation is not only impacting families in need, it's also costing more to purchase the food for the pantry.

"When we order our food, we now have to make sure we check pricing. It didn't use to be so volatile with the pricing of the food," Engle said.

The USDA expects food prices will continue to go up, and Burroughs said he will continue to help give back to his community.

"It's been a blessing to me so I want to be a blessing to the next person," Burroughs said.

With agriculture season winding down, employment will be ending for many people in the Glades and the pantry is expecting the need to increase further.

It's holding distributions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and delivers meals to seniors on Thursdays.

For more information about The Glades Initiative's food pantry, click here.