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Help Me Help You Fight Inflation With FREE Food Services & More

Updated: Dec 19, 2022


Is your blood pressure rising each time you shop or see the news? It’s little wonder with headlines like, “Inflation surges to a 40-year high as food prices spike from groceries to takeout”, ABC7 LA; and The Labor Department’s announcement: “Consumer Price Index jumped 8.5% in March seeing the largest increase since December 1981”. All this is incredibly stressful, especially for those that held purse strings tight to survive the daily financial challenges of the pandemic. Don’t despair! Take a deep breath and relax, knowing that Help Me Help You (HMHY) offers many free food and community services to help feed your family and support your essential needs.

Globally, supplier and consumer prices have soared across the board as a result of huge consumer demand; supply chain disruptions from labor shortages; as well as international sanctions and activities. According to the Labor Department, gasoline; shelter; and food saw the largest increases and contributors to inflation. The food index increased by 10% since last year, marking the biggest increase since 1981. Grocery prices jumped up 1.5%, and fresh produce climbed another 1.5% in March after an already 2.3% increase in February for fruits and vegetables. Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs have gone up 13.7% since last year. Dairy and other at-home grocery food groups ranged from a 7 to 10.3% increase. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). This post-pandemic food price increases month after month is putting more residents at risk of food insecurity.

In LA County, Long Beach has the highest percentage of low-income households experiencing food insecurity. Families are often faced with not having enough to eat, missing meals, and being forced to choose between buying food or paying for other essential living expenses. It is estimated that at least 1 in 4 families suffers from food insecurity which according to the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), is associated with poor health status, developmental risks, mental health problems, and poor educational outcomes.

Luckily for Long Beach residents, HMHY offers a variety of free food services including free weekly groceries via 10 school and community Grocery Grab N Go locations; free groceries for seniors home- delivered via Long Beach Food Pantry Delivery; and free enrollment assistance for CalFresh to shop for groceries. All in need are welcome to receive nutritious fresh and packaged groceries via HMHY Grocery Grab N Go locations. CalFresh (SNAP) is a supplemental food program to help qualifying limited income individuals and families get the food they need to stay healthy. The CalFresh benefit provides dollars via an EBT debit card to purchase groceries and fresh produce of your choice online and in-store at participating grocery stores (including Albertsons, Vons, Safeway, Walmart, and Amazon) and farmers’ markets. According to No Kid Hungry, more than 70% of CalFresh participants are still employed.

You’ll also be pleased to know that a change to the Public Charge in 2021, lifted restrictions to allow immigrants to safely access benefits. Immigrants and their families can safely access all health, nutrition, and housing programs (if they qualify) with no consequences to their immigration status.

Additionally, HMHY offers free enrollment for MediCal (free/low-cost health insurance), General Relief (cash aid assistance), Social Security Benefits, and links to other essential community services. We know you always do your best to provide for your family, but in these challenging times Help Me Help You fight the effects of inflation by accessing our services at: www.helpmehelpu.org/services or contacting us at 562 612 5001.

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