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Food insecurity continues to be a problem in the Tampa Bay area

The rising cost of necessities like groceries, gas and rent are putting a strain on families.

TAMPA, Fla. — As jobs become more prevalent and the economy overall continues to bounce back from a rough 2020, it might be surprising to find out that food insecurity continues to be a problem. 

Feeding Tampa Bay provides about 1.7 million meals a week to people in 10 counties in the Tampa Bay area and things haven't slowed down since the peak of the pandemic.

Just this week volunteers were allowed to go back to work inside the warehouse, helping fill boxes and bags for families in need. The president and CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay, Thomas Mantz, says even though jobs are coming back, families are getting hit by a new issue: inflation. Prices of so many necessities are up across the board. Groceries, gas and rent are all up significantly in the past few months. 

"The people we serve live on a marginalized budget to begin with and any fluctuation in cost or income materially changes their ability to just balance the monthly checkbook."

There's also a new concern that businesses like retail and restaurants could be adversely affected by the recent sharp rise in coronavirus cases, affecting the income of people who are already living paycheck to paycheck. 

Mantz says the community has continued to be generous with donations throughout the pandemic, but they could always use more. 

Check out the Feeding Tampa Bay website if you would like to donate or volunteer your time. 

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