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Inflation causing food insecurity across Kentucky, Indiana to rise

With increasing prices and the lack of availability of food, some volunteers in the region say it also comes down to other factors like transportation to get meals.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Inflation in many different industries is taking the nation by storm right now and that includes the cost of food and other goods.

The price of items like dairy or meat has shot up, leaving some people and food pantries alike, left without much supplies.

A trend the Kentuckiana region has seen for years

"Limited grocery stores and grocery stores that have been closing over the past few years," Lillian Camp, the president of The Food Equality Project, said.

Decreased access to fresh foods, meats, now threatened even more by inflation.

Camp founded the organization to help those in Kentucky and southern Indiana have fair and equal access to fresh foods.

"We decided to start doing that garden ourselves and delivering produce directly to these families so that it doesn't take extra time or money out of their day," she said.

Pantry's like HOPE Southern Indiana are working to fight food insecurity by making sure they keep stock for any families or individuals who may need them.

Angela Graf is the pantry's executive director and she said prices seen on the shelves right now are causing some families to be met with a hard decision.

"The food prices are astronomical right now. Many of our clients have to choose between, do they really need that? You know, food or name brand? Doritos? Or do they really need, you know, dairy products in the home," Graf said.

In the last year they have seen 683 new families coming to their pantry, saying almost half of them were in just the last few months.

"41 clients in one day was a significant increase. For us, it was about a 30% increase from what we normally see," she added.

With increasing prices and the lack availability of food, some volunteers in the region say it also comes down to other factors like transportation.

Noting that the elderly population are running into the issue of where their next meal may come from.

"They're making these life decisions of if they're going to eat and can they afford the bus fare to get there? Is there a bus that even has a route to get to the closest grocery store to buy good and nutritional food for them," Savvy Hughes with Feed Louisville said.

Savvy Hughes does outreach with Feed Louisville. 

Growing up, she experienced very limited access to food herself and that's what got her started at just 11-years-old. She wanted to fight food insecurity at the source.

Hughes said the need in this city is crucial and families shouldn't have to chose between bills or food.

"It was already that hard enough decision and now that's a lot harder for a lot of people because now it's what bills do I not pay this month, if I want to make sure me or my family is able to eat and eat right," she said.

► Contact reporter Ford Sanders at FSanders@whas11.com on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.   

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