My wife dispatched me to the grocery store last week to pick up a dozen eggs while she was busy making Christmas cookies and other holiday treats. I happily obliged, since I’m often the beneficiary of her baking skills, but I was taken aback when I got to the egg case and saw half empty shelves and prices that were two to three times higher than normal.

The prices were so jarring that the store manager taped a sign to the display case saying something about supply chain disruptions and they’re doing all they can to keep prices affordable. There are a lot of reasons behind the high egg prices, including outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in recent months affecting egg farms in Iowa and other states. 

I picked out a carton of eggs and felt fortunate that I could afford to pay a couple extra dollars to keep our holiday traditions alive. I was reminded a few days later that many people don’t have that privilege. Food banks report that demand for assistance is higher now than it was at the peak of the pandemic as families struggle with the impacts of soaring inflation.

At this time of year, they need help more than ever to make sure families have enough food on their table at Christmas and into the new year. Food security isn’t one of those far-off problems that we only see on TV — it’s happening right here in communities across Iowa. 

If you’re able, I encourage you to consider making a donation to your local food bank during this holiday season to make Christmas a little merrier for a family in need.