BIDEN ECONOMY: Middle Class Turning to Food Banks as Inflation Spirals Out of Control

WASHINGTON– Heads of food banks and non-profits throughout the United States say they are struggling to keep up with demand as the cost of groceries, fuel prices and other goods are leading first time recipients, many identified as middle class, to turn to these resources for help.

“Lines are getting longer at food pantries. Demand for food assistance is growing. And that is certainly putting a strain on the emergency food system,” Kyle Waide, president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

A report published last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that with inflation rates at a 40-year high, middle and working class Americans are struggling to survive.

Matt Pieper, the executive director of the food nonprofit Open Hand Atlanta, and Board president of Georgia Meals on Wheels State Association told the Constitution that the number of calls he gets in a day from people who are seeking food assistance has nearly tripled.

“There isn’t a program that I’ve talked with throughout the state that isn’t seeing an increase in demand for services, as inflation has skyrocketed and as the cost of fuel has skyrocketed,” said Pieper, whose organization provides about 5,500 meals a day.

“We’re feeding more seniors than we ever have before, because more seniors are accessing services because they’re running out of money,” he said.

According to the report published by the BLS, more than 18 million Americans sometimes didn’t have enough to eat last month and more than 5 million people often went hungry.

In May, food prices were 11.9% higher than in May of 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

The government’s consumer price index soared 9.1% over the past year, the biggest yearly increase since 1981, with nearly half of the increase due to higher energy costs.

TRUMP EFFECT: 14 states hit record low unemployment

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Fourteen states have set new records for low unemployment levels in the last year, according to a recent report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As reported by The Hill, eight states saw new record lows in March, including Hawaii (2.1 percent), Idaho (2.9 percent), Kentucky (4 percent), Maine (2.7 percent), Mississippi (4.5 percent), Oregon (4.1 percent) and Wisconsin (2.9 percent).

California also set record lows with the Golden State’s unemployment rate dropping to 4.1 percent, as did Colorado which saw an unemployment rate of just 2.6 percent.

In addition to record low unemployment levels, wages have also increased in recent months. According to the BLS report, average hourly earnings of nonfarm employees averaged $26.82 in March, up from March 2017’s average of $26.11.

The growing American economy and passage of a Republican tax overhaul appear benefitting President Trump as well.  According to a newly released poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the president’s approval rating continues to climb in response to America’s booming economic numbers.

As documented in the report, nearly half of Americans surveyed — 47 percent — say they approve of how Trump is handling the economy, his highest rating thus far on any one particular issue. When it comes to tax policy, 46 percent of Americans back Trump’s moves and say they have benefitted personally from the president’s tax reform act.

Heather Dilios, a 46-year-old social worker from Topsham, Maine, told The Washington Times she’s now taking home between $100 to $200 more per paycheck as a result of the new tax law, more than she expected when Trump signed the legislation.

“It’s more about being able to keep what is rightfully mine rather than giving it to the government,” said Dilios.

March’s numbers follow February’s job boom, during which 313,000 new jobs were created in the U.S.

“Job growth was the strongest since President Trump’s election, with 313,000 jobs created in the month of February,” the U.S. Department of Commerce reported March 9. “The non-stop job creation since the election has yielded 2.9 million jobs. For the fifth month in a row, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, a 17-year low. Goods-producing industries such as manufacturing, mining and logging, and construction collectively had the highest month-to-month growth since 1998. These were among many sectors experiencing significant growth.”

“President Trump’s tax reform continues to boost economic confidence with more than 400 companies handing out bonuses, raises, or other benefits to more than 4 million Americans,” the report continued. “Today’s report shows that average hourly earnings significantly increased in February and have increased by 2.6% over the last year. We saw positive movement in the labor force participation rate, and we would like to see that continue over the coming months.”

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