DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that inflation has hit a new high, and that consumer prices have jumped 8.5%. At Jessup Wealth Management, CEO Matthew Jessup believes the inflation spike is caused by several factors.
“The three biggest components to inflation is going to be shelter, transportation, and food. So, we’re going to see with interest rates where they’re at has caused a lot of, let’s just say enthusiasm in the markets, and has pushed prices way too high. Then you combine that with the conflict you’re seeing that internationally has really raised energy prices,” said Jessup.
Along with the conflict created by the war in Ukraine, Cedarville University Economics Professor Jeff Haymond said that another reason we’re seeing inflation has to do with the fiscal policy from both the Trump and Biden administrations which have added a total of 7 trillion dollars to the national debt. “When you see ongoing month after month after month of continued price rises you know what the source is every single time. It’s money,” said Dr. Haymond.
Inflation is also causing a spike in food prices. “We are really seeing the impacts of that here at The Foodbank. Specifically from our customers and our clients who visit us and our network and partnership agencies,” said The Foodbank Chief Development Officer Lee Lauren Truesdale.
The Foodbank’s drive-thru pantry occurs each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and is where many people across the Miami Valley go for emergency food assistance. Truesdale said they’re seeing a spike in numbers of people going through the lines with their trunks open in need of food.
“Our drive-thru on a normal day was maybe 120, 130 before the pandemic. Then at the height of the pandemic we hit 749 households coming through. Then, we started to of course see a bit of a decline as things started to stabilize. We had a better idea I think of what this pandemic new normal might look like. Then, as of last week we were seeing upwards of 400 residents coming through the drive-thru at a time,” said Truesdale.
Greene County resident Megan Randall said she’s also noticing the impacts of inflation through gas price spikes and higher prices at the grocery store. However, she’s more concerned about larger families who are unable to afford nutritious and more expensive meals right now. “They’re opting for cheaper meals, and you know just things that fill bellies instead of healthier options. I think that a lot of people aren’t really considering probably in the near future we’re going to see a lot more health concerns and issues,” said Randall.
Truesdale said things most needed right now at The Foodbank are items like eggs and milk, and that they’re always encouraging donations.
“We are not struggling currently to acquire food or really to distribute food, but we are seeing disruptions in the supply chain. Food is taking longer to get here. Sometimes it takes a month, sometimes a month and a half once we order it,” said Truesdale.
Dr. Haymond said like many economists, he’s also concerned that things could only worsen in the future. “We’ve got to solve this inflationary problem. It really harms the poor the most. Unfortunately we run this risk of recession if we don’t manage this very carefully. We should not have created the mess, but we’re in it, and now we’ve gotta get out of it,” said Dr. Haymond.
However, Jessup said he’s hopeful that if employment improves, so will inflation, creating a light at the end of the tunnel. “Supply chains have been really disrupted – less goods higher prices. So, we feel inflation will get better as the year goes on,” said Jessup.
To learn more about The Foodbank, click here.