We’ve all experienced sticker shock at the grocery store over the past few years as prices continue to tick upward. I found a grocery store ad from 2019 advertising a popular brand of soup for $1.25 per can; last week, the same brand was on sale for $2.48 — almost twice as much. 

And while the bill for your Thanksgiving dinner may have been a little less this year, largely due to lower turkey prices, it’s still 25% higher than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Farm Bureau’s annual survey.

As you gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember that not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to absorb these higher costs. Food banks say the demand for their services has never been higher, even compared to the height of the pandemic. 

That’s due to a combination of factors, according to Linda Gorkow, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association. For starters, overcoming food insecurity doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, Gorkow says it can take up to 10 years for those needing food assistance to get fully back on their feet. Combine that with higher prices and the end of some pandemic-related food assistance programs, and the result is that many of our fellow Iowans have a hard time putting enough food on the table. 

Gorkow and other food bank officials were elated earlier this month when Iowa Farm Bureau partnered with Fareway to donate two truckloads of ground beef and ground turkey to food banks across Iowa. 

As we give thanks this weekend and throughout the Christmas season, let us keep in mind our neighbors who may be struggling and make a commitment to share our abundance with them.