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Second Harvest anticipates a hard summer for many as high rents and inflation affect the food insecure

Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

Food insecurity had improved in Central Florida after the worst of the pandemic. But now it appears to be getting worse again due to inflation, high rents and the price of gas.

Greg Higgerson of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida says searches on its website from people looking for food have doubled in the past six weeks or so.

He says many low-income families struggle to meet their basic needs, and the rising costs of food, fuel and shelter push them "over the tipping point."

"If you're right up against that budget and having to make those choices, it can be a very difficult thing, and you may find yourself having to seek that additional help from a charitable source or an emergency food pantry, that kind of thing," he said. "We're seeing that uptick right now and it's a time when the community really ought to be thinking about our neighbors. "

Second Harvest anticipates a difficult summer for many in Central Florida, where it reports one in seven residents are already food insecure.


Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.