Central Florida families rely on food drives as they feel effects of inflation

Second Harvest Food Bank, Serenity’s Grace host events to help families put food on table

ORLANDO, Fla.The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, along with charity organization Serenity’s Grace, are getting results for families who are struggling to put food on the table.

On Thursday, dozens lined up for hours in the hope of getting free groceries.

“A lot of things are very expensive. The eggs, the meat, it’s too hard,” Maria Santana said.

Santana said she does not have a job and uses food stamps to buy meals for her family.

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“It’s really hard, it’s really hard. It’s not enough what we get. It’s really hard for everybody. Everywhere we go, everything is expensive,” she said.

Second Harvest Food Bank said there has been an uptick in the number of people searching for food assistance.

Last month, its “Food Finder” tool saw more than 6,000 searches.

“The effects of elevated inflation are going to have an impact on these families for quite some time. They haven’t gotten back on their feet over the last couple of years. It’s been one disaster after the other and then with the addition of inflation on top of everything and rising costs,” said Maureen Mikel with Second Harvest Food Bank.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food prices are predicted to increase by 7.1% this year.

Egg prices are predicted to increase by 27.3%. Other items like meats are expected to increase by 12.8%, dairy products by 8.0%, fats and oils by 16.5% and fruits and vegetables by 9.6%.

Pedro Juan Grana, 81, lined up at 5 a.m. for an opportunity to get free groceries for him and his wife.

“Why do you think I’m here? Because this is a huge help for people who don’t have enough money. Here you get things that you need,” Grana said.

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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!