Inflation Irritations - SHIM

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Inflation Irritations

Pantry milkLately we’ve been hearing a lot about inflation. Thanks to supply chain issues and increased demand, many items are becoming more and more expensive. In the last 14 months, the cost of milk increased by 8%, while a carton of eggs grew by 30%. Overall costs for eggs, fish, poultry, and meat grew by almost 12%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, uncooked beef roast and steak costs have risen 24%! Even fruit and vegetable prices have jumped 3%.

Not only are food prices going up, but utility prices have increased. According to CNBC, households using natural gas to heat their homes are looking at an increase of 30% compared to last year. Many low-income families who turn to SHIM live in older houses with poor ventilation and inefficient appliances and heating systems. There is a significant burden that utility bills put on families with small children. The average low-income household spends, on average, 7.2% of their income on utility bills, which amounts to about $1,700 annually out of $25,000 in median household income. That is more than triple the 2.3% spent by higher-income households for electricity, heating, and cooling.

At the same time, many families are struggling to maintain employment as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc. Whether employees are quarantining without pay or parents are staying home with children because of unexpected school shutdowns, families continue to face difficult decisions.

Thankfully, SHIM is able to help families make ends meet. While SHIM purchases 70% of distributed food from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, 30% is donated directly by neighbors like you. Through partnerships with local agencies such as the Dollar Energy Fund, SHIM is able to connect neighbors to emergency relief funds, helping 300 households access $115,000 in emergency grants.

We continue to adapt to the ever-changing hardships of the pandemic knowing that SHIM remains a hub for families facing crisis. SHIM is thankful for the generosity of donors, volunteers, and community partners who support our vital programs.

Learn more about SHIM’s financial assistance impact here.

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