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More needy heading to food banks

Woman choosing food at the Daily Bread Food Bank in MIami, Fla.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Today, in Washington, Congress looks at how food prices are affecting people in this country. Jeff Tyler reports.


Jeff Tyler: With the slowing economy and rising unemployment, low income Americans are being squeezed.

George Brailey: Many people who've never been to a food pantry or a food bank are finding themselves in need today.

That's George Brailey with America's Second Harvest, a network of food banks. He'll be speaking at today's hearing. He says the need for assistance is growing.

Brailey: The number of people receiving food stamps today is 1.3 million higher than it was just a year ago.

But with the rapid rise in prices, food stamps don't go as far. As a result, more families are turning up at soup kitchens. And Brailey says charities are having a harder time providing help.
For one thing, the federal government is donating less food than in the past. And, of course, inflation cuts into a food bank's buying power. So, with the same budget, they can't feed as many people.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

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