Gas prices are averaging $4.94 a gallon for unleaded in Connecticut and $6.18 per gallon for diesel.
These prices have been especially tough on nonprofits like Connecticut Foodshare. The non-profit can’t raise its prices and account for the additional costs like other businesses would. Connecticut Foodshare is in the business of providing food for free to Connecticut families in need.
The nonprofit is paying more to run its fleet of trucks and it’s paying more than 30% more for food.
“We have definitely tried to be more efficient in our routes, we definitely have reconfigured some routes so that we’re spending as few miles out on the road as possible. But when you’ve got a truck out there, especially one of the refrigerated trucks that is going almost all the time when it’s out on the road, it’s a big cost and it’s not a cost we can opt out of,” said Jason Jakubowski, the president and CEO of Connecticut Foodshare.
Connecticut Foodshare has seen a 76% increase in diesel costs over the last year and a 51% increase in gasoline costs. After paying more to get the food, it also has to pay more to deliver it to 500 pantries across the state and 100 mobile sites.
“We can’t not distribute food. That’s what we do. This is why we have reserves, this is why we count on the generosity of people donating to us to be able to make up some of these differences. But, this is not something we budgeted for last year,” said Jakubowski.
Jakubowski said they prefer to spend money on food instead of fuel, but this is their new reality and the non-profit is anticipating the additional costs in the next budget that begins on July 1.
At this point, the need is not as high as it was at the height of the pandemic, but it has yet to drop to those pre-pandemic levels, especially when people’s dollars don’t go as far because of inflation.
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