Income

High-income earners visit food banks and shop at Walmart as food inflation rises

Historically high inflation continues to affect Americans from all walks of life, including high-income individuals and families who have been driven to Walmart, food banks and thrift stores due to the skyrocketing cost of grocery products. groceries and merchandise.

During a call with investors regarding the company’s second quarter results this week, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon was asked if he sees Walmart enjoying more market share as consumers negotiate. looking for lower prices to stretch their budgets amid soaring inflation.

“I think we’re sticking to the low end and adding to the high end, generally speaking,” McMillon replied, referring to customer income levels.

Consumer prices rose 9.1% in June from a year earlier, hitting a new 40-year high for inflation after months of rising costs. Inflation eased in July, with the consumer price index rising 8.5% last month from a year ago, but prices remain near 40-year highs.

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A cashier scans items at a Walmart store in Burbank, California on August 15, 2022. – Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, will release its second quarter results on August 16, 2022. ((Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)/Getty Images)

Food insecurity and tight family budgets are perhaps nowhere more evident than at food banks across the country where industry leaders told Fox News Digital that middle-class families are becoming a staple in the longest lines some places have ever seen.

“They’ve never had so many people online,” Karen Erren, president and CEO of Feeding Westchester in Westchester County, New York, told Fox News Digital about two of the feed sites that his food bank operates in the second wealthiest county in the state.

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“We saw even more change with the middle class, especially when businesses closed and a lot of people were left without work because of COVID, we saw that influx, and we saw a lot of those people no not being able to catch up like they thought they would have by now,” Aramelle Wheeler, marketing and communications coordinator at the Northern Nevada Food Bank outside of Reno, told Fox News Digital.

Year-on-year inflation stats for July 2022

Food inflation statistics in July 2022 year-over-year. (Fox Business/Fox News)

Wheeler says demand at FBNN is up 17% from last year while Erren explained his food bank served 130,000 to 150,000 people a month before the COVID-19 pandemic and now serves more than 200,000 people each month on average.

Andrew Olsen, president of Altus Marketing, which works with food banks across the country, told Fox News Digital he’s heard stories from partners where people who were food bank donors ended up having them. themselves need food.

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“The traditional homeless in need represents a very small percentage of the population that actually receives food from the network of food banks across the country,” Olsen said. “Most often it’s single-family families, retirees, people with little luck. The changing demographics of needs have become much more families.”

Olsen added that rising inflation has also made it harder for food banks to acquire basics like milk and eggs, which, along with rising fuel costs, has created a “perfect storm.” “.

Second-hand stores in the United States are also experiencing a influx of consumers are looking to save money on clothes they typically find in department stores as well as school supplies as the kids head back to school for the fall.

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“Certainly during the pandemic we’ve been busy, but over the past two months there are numbers that we haven’t seen in quite a while,” said Michael Acaldo, president and chief executive officer. management of the Company. of St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge, the lawyer told this month.

Families are expected to spend $864 on school supplies this year, which is a 24% increase from 2019, according to the National Trade Federation.

Additionally, the National Retail Federation says that about one-third or 38% of consumers are reducing their overall spending in order to afford the cost of back-to-school items.

Food price inflation

A man shops at a Safeway grocery store in Annapolis, Maryland on May 16, 2022. ((Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

A US News & World Report survey found that 77% of Americans are worried about being able to afford back-to-school expenses and many are turning to thrift stores to save money.

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As Americans in various income brackets across the country struggle to afford basic items, Democrats in Washington, D.C. take a victory lap after passing a spending bill massive measures which they called the “Cutting Inflation Act”.

“Today offers further proof that America’s soul is vibrant, America’s future is bright, and America’s promise is real and has only just begun,” the president said. Biden at the bill signing ceremony while touting the effects the bill will have on the climate. change, prescription drug prices and deficit reduction.

Contrary to the bill’s name, the Congressional Budget Office said the legislation would have “negligible effect” on inflation in 2022, and in 2023 its impact would range from reducing inflation by 0, 1% and an increase of 0.1%.

Despite the CBO’s analysis, the Biden administration backed the bill’s name with White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates telling Fox News Digital this week that more than “120 leading economists and a bipartisan group of five former treasury secretaries endorsed the Cut Inflation Act, stressing that it will cut costs for families while fighting inflation by cutting the deficit.”

Fox News’ Emma Colton and Breck Dumas contributed to this report