Pinched by inflation, more people turn to crowdfunding to cover basic necessities
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Over the past year, the consumer price index has risen nearly 8%. And at one point this summer, gasoline hit five bucks a gallon. To make ends meet during this inflationary period, a growing number of people are turning to crowdfunding to cope, according to a new report from GoFundMe.
That includes significant increases in people asking for help to pay for gas, groceries, baby formula and other basics.
Sometime this spring, NaTonya Hamilton realized her paycheck just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
“The biggest thing was grocery,” she said. “I have a 9-year-old who is almost as tall as me. He’s a very big boy. And he eats!”
Hamilton had been working as a physical therapy assistant in Savannah, Georgia, for a few years, but she said her salary hadn’t really gone up. But prices kept rising.
“The paycheck was just not stretching as far. I was getting less food for more money,” she said.
Then, her air conditioning broke. So did her car. She started to fall behind on her mortgage and utilities.
“So it’s just like these back-to-back events that, you know, without inflation would have been like a minor inconvenience, right?” she said. “But with the cost of food and gas on top of everything else, turned into a thing that was kind of like could completely break me.”
Eventually, Hamilton decided to put up a GoFundMe page. She called it: “The struggle and inflation are real,” and she asked for $2,000. She got almost all of it.
She caught up on her mortgage and utilities, fixed her car and bought some groceries.
“This is a tangible reflection of the practical realities that people are struggling with,” said Margaret Richardson with GoFundMe. “We saw a 60% increase in fundraisers for gasoline, we saw 110% increase in fundraisers for baby formula, we also saw a 10% increase in fundraisers for groceries.”
Overall, GoFundMe reported that people donated more than $80 million to campaigns asking for help with those basic necessities.
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