While the inflation rate has improved slightly in the Phoenix metro area, people are still struggling to afford themselves.
PHOENIX – The inflation rate in Phoenix has fallen nearly a full percentage point since August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
New numbers released Thursday show the inflation rate in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area is now 12.1%, down from 13% in August.
However, people are still grappling with rising costs and Phoenix is still at the top of the nation’s inflation list.
United Food Bank is a place people turn to for help.
“The need skyrocketed during inflation,” said Grace Astor, director of corporate relations at United Food Bank.
Inflation, Astor said, is leaving more families in need of help in eastern Arizona.
“We used to make 26,000 emergency food bags a month, and now they expect us to build 36,000 a month to keep up with demand,” Astor said.
Beyond the food the nonprofit provides to people, Astor said it also takes a toll on the organization.
“On our fuel costs alone, we used to spend $10,000 a month on fuel costs, and now it’s over $21,000,” Astor said.
United Food Bank is preparing to welcome its “Great Turkey Tuesdayin Mesa, hoping to raise 2,000 turkeys and donations to help feed even more people this holiday season.
“November is our highest demand for family food. And so we’re seeing around 2,000 families, which is what we plan to serve for our holiday distribution,” Astor said.
It’s the holidays that Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at Lending Tree, says will also be affected by inflation, as he expects inflation to not improve any time soon.
“Any expectations you have about what you’re going to spend this holiday season, it might be worth going into that budget and adding a few percent to what you’re expecting,” Schulz said.
While the United States and Arizona saw a slight improvement in inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Schulz said people should have a plan for the new year.
“It’s really important to reduce your credit card debt as much as possible over the next few months because that debt you have is only going to get more expensive,” Schulz said.
2023 is also what United Food Bank said it is preparing for as well.
“We see the need growing and growing,” Astor said.
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