Inflation causes some families to turn to food pantry for first time

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:38 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Channel 3 caught up with a family who has never relied on a food pantry before to see how they are coping with rising prices.

GRANBY, Conn. (WFSB) - Inflation has impacted families across the states.

It’s estimated about 500,000 Connecticut residents struggle with hunger.

Channel 3 caught up with a family who has never relied on a food pantry before to see how they are coping with rising prices.

“It’s been tough. Very, very tough,” said Laurie Martin, East Windsor.

Food is a basic need, but for Laurie Martin she needs to feed others.

It’s what she loves to do.

In fact, she spent 30 years working in the cafeteria of a Simsbury Elementary School.

“I got to feed them every day, enjoy them and it was great,” said Laurie. “I like to feed people. I had my own four kids. I love to feed them. I just like to feed people.”

You can imagine how tough it became when she retired, her husband lost his job, and inflation caused grocery prices to skyrocket.

“It’s tough because I don’t have a full paycheck no more,” said Raymond Martin.

“Your pay check gets cut and so we were having a difficult time, you know, paying the bills and buying groceries,” Laurie added.

That is what brought them to Granby’s Hope 4 Life food pantry at Life Church New England.

Pastor Al Royal gave us a tour.

“People just can’t make ends meet. You add that to the cost of oil, to electricity, clothing. Any food that they can get here, that frees up their dollars to do something else on their own,” said Pastor Royal.

The Martins never relied on a food bank before, but their daughter saw them struggling as she once did.

“It was really hard and I felt really bad having to ask my family and friends for food all the time and it just got to where I needed help. I really needed food for my kids,” said Linda Martin, Terryvillle.

That’s why they are grateful for these shelves and Connecticut Foodshare which helps to keep them stocked.

But the non-profit is not immune to inflation and supply chain issues.

“Inflation has impacted us in regards to our inventory, the amount of product that we get that is available to our partner programs,” said Vinh Vuong, Connecticut Foodshare,

Last month, they had to take 500,000 dollars out of reserves to cover food purchases for the end of the year.

“It just was overwhelming. You know the feeling of care and trying to help you out and just doing things for you,” said Laurie.

Laurie is so appreciative she is giving back by doing what she loves to do, feeding others and volunteering at the pantry.

‘And help other people and pay back, what people have done for me. People have been so good to me through my life,” explained Laurie.