Food Prices Aren’t Going Down. How Community Fridges and Food Banks Are Stepping In

For Jamie Siracusa, the rising price of food means fewer grocery items can go toward restocking the community fridge she runs in Brookline, a suburb of Boston.

Community fridges are refrigerators located in public spaces where anyone can contribute or take free food. Siracusa said there’s usually a natural ebb and flow in demand in the neighborhood, but during some days this year the need has been overwhelming. In October, Siracusa bought enough groceries to fill up the fridge twice. In both instances, the food was completely gone within hours.

“The demand is higher than we’ve been able to provide,” Siracusa said.

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Though inflation is showing signs of cooling, food prices remain higher than they’ve been in decades. In October, the price of groceries rose by more than 12% over the last year, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. Some basic food items have gone up drastically: The retail price of eggs is some 40% higher than it was in October 2021.


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