'A lot of stress and pressure' - High inflation raises demand, lowers donations at food banks

More demand and fewer donations are hitting Hudson Valley nonprofits hard this year as they try to battle high inflation to supply critical community services.
The United States reported that inflation reached a new 40-year high last month of 9.1%.
People to People, Rockland's largest food pantry located in Nanuet, says it helped 5% more people this May compared to the year before.
Food is one of the items most affected by inflation, and coupled with the inflated costs of other essentials, lower-income households are getting hit the hardest.
"There's still a lot of stress and pressure about where we're getting all the food,” says Diane Serratore, the CEO of People to People. "We're kind of wondering, when are they going to start going down? And what's that going to take?"
People to People helped more than 12,000 people in the first quarter of 2022, which is 1,000 more than the same time last year.
With the cost of everything increasing, donations are down at food pantries. This has forced organizations like People to People to rely more on programs connecting them with free food that grocery stores don't sell to make sure their pantries are as stocked as possible.
Seniors are quickly becoming the fastest-growing group the organization serves as the cost of everything outpaces their mostly fixed incomes.
People to People has been holding virtual food drives. The next on is in August ahead of the back-to-school season.
People can choose the items they'd like the organization to buy, donate the monetary value of that and the nonprofit will use that money to stock its shelves.