Washington State to Face Prolonged Food Shortages

Toni Koraza

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Many factors directly affect the food industry, creating ongoing problems, including shortages and prolonged food insecurity.

Reasons for Food Shortages

Food shortages can occur when many individuals require healthy food and local stores cannot meet the demand. However, there are other circumstances surrounding the food insecurity in Washington State, including:

  • Employment shortages at processing plants, grocery stores, and transportation methods
  • Food recalls due to unsanitary conditions, cross-contamination, or safety concerns
  • Higher demand than in previous years

Is the Covid-19 Pandemic Responsible for Food Shortages?

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has altered many industries, including the food supply. With fewer on-site workers, travel restrictions to prevent transporting food items and goods, and more individuals relying on government assistance for help, Washington State is not immune to its share of food shortages.

Reports indicate a higher level of food insecurity now than before the Covid-19 pandemic. This increased need for food comes from contributing factors, resulting in a jump from 10% to 27% of homes that do not feel they have access to healthy food and require help.

Contributing Factors

Some of the more substantial elements that affect this critical component of everyday life in Washington State include:

  • Geographical location
  • Ethnicity
  • Employment
  • Rising costs

Geographical Location

The geographical location can pose challenges for residents to obtain groceries, consequently putting a strain on local food banks and government services for assistance.

Homes with multiple children can exhibit more need for government assistance programs to have enough food for the household.

Ethnicity

Unfortunately, Hispanic, Latino, and other ethnic groups report struggles with providing enough healthy food each month. The recent Covid-19 pandemic amplifies this dire situation and does not appear to have any respite.

Employment

Naturally, households with a two-person income will not see the effects of food shortages as much as low-income homes or residents who rely on a one-person income.

Rising Costs

The cost of living continues to rise, creating a strain for many Washington State residents. The food industry is not immune to these increases, making it more difficult to purchase healthy food items regularly. Consequently, food costs in 2022 are 17.08% higher than only five years ago.

Are you worried about the rising food costs in Washington?

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