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Americans describe struggles to afford food while Biden touts strong economy: ‘I am honestly scared’

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An increasing number of Americans are turning to food banks as many reveal they’re “scared” for the future and struggling to feed their families due to increased grocery prices, according to a new report. 

“You used to be able to get five bags of groceries for $50, now you only get one bag for $50,” Janet Ortigoza, a mom from Fresno, California, told NBC News. “I am honestly scared to have another baby because I don’t think we will be able to provide for another baby. Now that she’s growing, she’s going to start eating three times a day, and just trying to provide the right nutrition to her, it’s hard.”

Jennifer Estrada, told the outlet she was making $7 more per hour than she was in 2022, but said rent and the price of groceries were making it extremely difficult to feed her family of seven. 

“For me, personally, I think it’s going to be a continual struggle, pretty much for the rest of my life, however long that may be,” Estrada told NBC News. “But what I’m more fearful of is that I have three girls that are graduating this year from high school, and I’m just fearful as to what the world has to offer them.”

A customer selects goods at a supermarket in San Mateo, California, the United States, Nov. 29, 2023. (Photo by Li Jianguo/Xinhua via Getty Images) ((Photo by Li Jianguo/Xinhua via Getty Images))

RESTAURANT OWNER WORKS TO END FOOD INSECURITY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Ortigoza also told NBC News that she doesn’t plan to turn on her home’s heater because utilities have been on the rise. 

Another American, Carl Willette from Augusta, Maine, said he’s been relying on a food bank consistently for the first time in his life. 

“It is like a noose around your neck getting tighter,” Willette, 85, and a caregiver for his wife, said. “You cannot imagine the pressure that is on us now with everything the way it is. I can’t understand, how do they justify the wages that there are today, why does stuff have to go up like that, why does it have to go up so much?

Food banks are much more expensive to run, according to Jen Muzia with the Seattle Ballard Foodbank, who told Fox News Digital, “It’s costing us way more to buy food.”

President Biden, grocery store

More Americans are struggling to afford food and turning to food banks, NBC News reported. (Main: (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images), Circle: Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

RECORD HIGH INFLATION DRICING MORE FAMILIES TO FOOD BANKS: ‘THESE ARE DESPERATE SITUATIONS’

The head of Feeding America, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, said demand is much higher now than it was during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is not just one group’s issue, it’s an American issue. Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income,” she told NBC News. 

Anita Garret, who relies on her food bank in Milwaukee, told the outlet that the boxes were getting smaller.

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden salutes while arriving during an event in the Indian Treaty Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. (Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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“The boxes they are giving the people are getting smaller and smaller. But the lines are getting longer and longer,” she said.  “Everything is getting cut, cut, cut. Everything is going up, up, up. I feel a depression coming.”

A Fox News poll released in late November found that 78% of Americans rate the economy negatively. A majority of voters, 67%, do not believe that the economy has started to turn around.  

Fox News’ Joy Addison contributed to this report.

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