historically high inflation continues to affect Americans of all backgrounds, including high-income individuals and families who have been driven to Walmart, food banks, and thrift stores as a result of the skyrocketing cost of groceries and goods.
During an investor call about the company’s second-quarter earnings results this week, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon was asked if he saw Walmart benefiting in terms of increased market share as consumers look for lower prices. lower prices to stretch their budgets amid skyrocketing inflation.
“I think we stay on the low end and add on the high end, broadly speaking.” McMillon repliedin reference to the income levels of the clients.
Consumer prices soared 9.1% in June compared to a year earlier, marking a new 40-year high for inflation after months of rising costs. Inflation slowed in July, with the consumer price index rising 8.5% last month from a year earlier, but prices remain near 40-year highs.
Food insecurity and straining family budgets are perhaps no more apparent than at the nation’s food banks, where industry leaders told Fox News Digital that middle-class families are becoming a staple in the longest lines some places have ever seen.
“They’ve never had so many people in line,” said Karen Erren, president and CEO of Feeding Westchester in Westchester County, New Yorktold Fox News Digital about two of the distribution sites his food bank runs in the state’s second-richest county.
“We’ve seen an even bigger shift with the middle class, especially as businesses shut down and a lot of people are out of work because of COVID, we’ve seen that influx, and we’ve seen a lot of those people not being able to catch up like they thought they would.” Now,” Aramelle Wheeler, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Food Bank of Northern Nevada out of reindeerhe told Fox News Digital.
Wheeler says demand at FBNN is up 17% from last year, while Erren explained that his food bank was serving between 130,000 and 150,000 people per month before the COVID-19 pandemic and now serves more than 200,000 people each month on average.
Andrew Olsen, president of Altus Marketing, which works with food banks across the country, told Fox News Digital that he’s heard stories from partners where people who were food bank donors ended up in line needing food themselves.
“The traditional homeless person in need represents a very small percentage of the population that actually receives food from the network of food banks across the country,” Olsen said. “Most of the time they are single families, they are retirees, they are people who are just down on their luck. The changing demographics of need have become much more about families.”
Olsen added that rising inflation has also made it harder for food banks to stock up on staples like milk and eggs, which, along with rising fuel costs, has created a “perfect storm.”
Thrift stores in the United States are also seeing a influx of consumers They’re looking to save money on clothes they can usually find in department stores, as well as school supplies when kids head back to school for the fall.
“Certainly, over the course of the pandemic, we’ve been busy, but over the course of the last two months, there are numbers that we haven’t seen in a long time,” Michael Acaldo, Society President and CEO. of St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge, he told the Advocate this month.
Families are expected to spend $864 on school supplies this year, which is a 24% increase from 2019. according to the National Retail Federation.
Additionally, the National Retail Federation says that about a third or 38% of consumers are cutting in your overhead to be able to pay for the cost of back-to-school items.
A US News & World Report survey found that 77% of Americans are worried about being able to afford back-to-school expenses, and many of them are going to thrift stores to save money.
At the same time that Americans at a variety of income levels across the country are scrambling to buy basic items, Democrats in Washington, DC are taking a victory lap after passing a massive spending bill they dubbed “The inflation reduction.
“Today offers further proof that America’s soul is vibrant, America’s future is bright, and America’s promise is real and just beginning.” President Biden he said at the bill’s signing ceremony while touting the effects the bill will have on climate change, prescription drug prices and deficit reduction.
Contrary to the name of the bill, the Congressional Budget Office said the legislation will have “a negligible effect” on inflation in 2022, and in 2023 its impact would range from reducing inflation by 0.1% to increasing it by 0.1%.
Despite the CBO analysis, the Biden administration has stuck to the bill’s name with White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates. counting Fox News Digital this week that more than “120 leading economists and a bipartisan group of five former Treasury secretaries have endorsed the Inflation Reduction Act, stressing that it will lower costs for families while fighting inflation by reducing the deficit.”
Emma Colton and Breck Dumas of Fox News contributed to this report.