High Inflation Continues To Impact Sector, Including Food Banks
As inflationary pressures keep year-over-year price increases high, food banks see both an increase in demand and a shortage of supply. Food pantries across the country are dealing both with an increase in demand due to broader consumer-facing prices, as well as a harder time keeping up with supply because of the same price increases. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that “Some of Feeding America’s food pantry partners have closed because of dwindling donations and higher costs for receiving and delivering food. Others have less food on their shelves even though they have higher demand.” The article goes on to highlight the vital importance that food banks serve and that folks who need the assistance they provide might be more diverse than the broader public realizes.
- Nonprofits on Both Sides of Abortion Issue See Increase in Donations | The Chronicle of Philanthropy
- Independent Sector Issues Statement on Mass Shooting in Buffalo
- The Guggenheim Museum, Which Long Resisted Calls to Drop the Sackler Name, Has Finally Quietly Removed It | Artnet News
- HFPA Considers Selling Assets, Dropping Nonprofit Status | Yahoo Entertainment
- Oregon nonprofit that turns trash into art lands permanent display at the Smithsonian | KGW.com
[00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit newsfeed, we’re talking about high inflation and how it’s having impacts on food banks, as well as a bevy of other social impact issues. Nick, how is.
[00:00:12] It’s going good, George.
[00:00:13] it’s just trying to, always just trying to keep up last week was a little weird from the financial side. I’m glad we’re not a financial podcast, but a few things went sideways and you know, I think that comes back to the larger issue of inflation going on.
[00:00:27] That is. Great segue into our first story that is talking about some of those broader trends, economic trends that you were talking about. Namely inflation and our lead story comes from the Chronicle philanthropy, which is supporting that hi Felician is continuing to impact many nonprofits, but food banks in particular.
[00:00:50] And it turns out that many food banks across the United States are being. From both directions, essentially, you have more people needing food assistance because of higher food prices and food banks, having trouble keeping up with that higher demand because of higher food and supply chain issues. So.
[00:01:14] Yeah, lots of food banks are feeling the pinch, both with supply and demand, kind of impacting their ability to, to provide for, for folks. The article goes on to state that some of feeding America’s food pantry partners have closed because of dwindling donations and higher costs for receiving and delivering food.
[00:01:34] Others have less food on their shelves, even though they have higher demand. So you kind of have the economics of this. Hitting where Hertz in both directions. And unfortunately the inflation numbers came out and it slowed marginally with the most recent data. But inflation continues to be a really serious problem heading in this case, food pantries, where it hurts.
[00:01:56] I think it’s important to note that the general consumer price index CPI is it’s not accurate for everyone. It is not inclusive of what might be hitting. Some people that are maybe more dependent on travel by car or at the grocery store for different types of materials. But the high-level here.
[00:02:19] Compared to last year at this time, we’re about 50% down and where we have received and past feral food donations, and about 20% down from food drives in our collection of food from the grocery store, says the executive director, Tyra Jackson there. And it’s it. It’s tough. It is tough because you’re also talking about donations that may have come and picked up by truck by car.
[00:02:43] And there are a few donations being. In addition to people needing it more. So, you know, you’re going to see this certainly at food, food pantries among others, but something that we really wanted to pull out as a, as a major, a major narrative as only gonna continue as as inflation and gas prices continue to, to pinch organizations that serve the most vulnerable in our.
[00:03:06] Yeah, George, I think that’s a great analysis. And just as an aside, I was talking with a colleague at our company who she and her partner volunteered at a food bank down in the Nashville area. And. When they were volunteering there, they found out that the food bank was actually closing two weeks later and that all of those resources were disappearing.
[00:03:28] So this is very real. This is being felt tangibly by a lot of people. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable people and just calling out to an article. Or featured on this podcast almost a year ago now, but when you look at the statistics of folks on food stamps or folks needing food assistance, it is much more broad and diverse than I think a lot of Americans realize, and that food insecurity is a much bigger and.
[00:04:00] Yeah, I’m a much bigger problem than I think most people realize. So it’s something we’ll continue to follow.
[00:04:06] Great. Should we move into our summer yard? Yeah.
[00:04:10] Let’s do it. Our first article from the summary comes again from the Chronicle of philanthropy. And this is that nonprofits on both sides of the abortion issue are seeing an increase in donations. This was something that we predicted. It’s not that hard, a prediction to make. Something we’ve talked about would happen a couple of weeks ago, of course, with the draft Supreme court decision propelling Roe vs.
[00:04:37] Wade. And at this point How the Supreme court is poised to strike that down, back into the forefront of the narrative here. And there are so many organizations on both sides of this issue, local organizations, national organizations, and this is now the most important or most salient, I should say, policy debate in America right now.
[00:05:02] So no surprise that non-profits are seeing an increase in donations. It will be interesting to see. How long this lasts. We often talk about how giving because of various news events and attention to these issues have very short life cycles. We talked about donations to Afghanistan, which lasted, everyone was talking about Afghanistan for about 10 days and then nothing.
[00:05:30] Right. So it’d be interesting to see here. Especially as it relates to broader kind of political narratives in the United States. The one difference with this is that that decision from the Supreme court has actually not been officially dropped down yet. It’s expected to be released in June.
[00:05:48] So that, that news cycle we’ll get another bump in June when it eventually does drop. But what’s your take on the story?
[00:05:55] Yeah, it’s kind of hard because we’re still just sort of pulling in this article at anecdotal evidence and narratives, large narratives like planned parenthood, Federation of America, talking about how. , spokesperson, they’re saying they got 70,000, 70,000 new supporters that had signed on with the organization either as donors or volunteers and had received tens of thousands of new one-time gifts.
[00:06:21] And the thinking is that if Roe is overturned, the organization’s base of supporters are only going to continue to grow and counter narratives there. Pro-life across America, probably of. Groups has not seen a rise in donations since the week, but other smaller ones have said, there’s a couple extra thousand here or there coming in.
[00:06:40] So still, , I, I, I’m hesitant to draw a macro narratives other than to say, there’s going to be an increase amount of volume here. I think this is the first sort of earthquake social earthquake. This announcement ripples are starting to be felt, but I think the big ones still to come. Potential actual decision would be landing.
[00:07:01] That would be the summer. Right? Nick, you know, I, I don’t know why July is in my mind, but
[00:07:05] Yeah, I think end of June a lot has something to do with the docket. Yeah,
[00:07:11] so we’ll see. But within the next one to two months, general,
[00:07:16] I would say from a strategy standpoint, this was the first press it, but the, the wave of. News and attention is going to be very, very intense. And as all things intense, it will burn brightly and briefly, unfortunately, and then come down to that steady drum beat. So you are an organization that is near or adjacent to this topic.
[00:07:38] I would be very much prepared for how you pull in. Monthly sustaining donors in that moment of emotion when emotions are at its peak, because the work is going to take quite some time and it’s not a one and done it is something that should it should be part of a, a longer term movement that is is going to take a lot of resources.
[00:08:01] Absolutely. That’s a great framing. I for one I’m done with earthquakes for, for another decade, no more society altering earthquakes. But unfortunately we have another one. To talk about. And we’re framing this around a press release from independent sector, which is a national membership organization that brings together nonprofits and foundations and corporate giving partners.
[00:08:28] But they put out a press release, acknowledging the violence in Buffalo over the weekend. That being that over the weekend, a white supremacist went into a supermarket in Buffalo, New York shot. 13 people, 11 of whom were black and 10 of whom died. This was an over act of racism and white supremacy was very, very clear.
[00:08:52] And We see the nonprofit community responding here. I don’t really know. What more to what non-profits can can do about this. This is, this is hard, a hard, very hard problem to solve. And of course, there’s lots of organizations that work in this space, the Southern poverty law center and civil rights organizations that of course over the past couple of days have been really highlighting how national political discourses lending itself to this, these far right ideologies and extremist ideologies.
[00:09:25] But Yeah, just unfortunately, and another tragic day in a long string of mass shootings that we experienced in this country.
[00:09:32] We saw the narrative, certainly of gun rights and organizations like our town saying reasonable things. Like, I dunno, maybe we shouldn’t allow citizens to run around with assault rifles , these high capacity magazines and the ability to, to do that much damage in that period of time, there was another narrative around.
[00:09:51] How this was actually streamed on Twitch, which can lead to copycats and narratives that this shooter was partially inspired by Christ church shooting, which was also incredibly terrible, but this sort of mimicry of when people see it is a, a dog whistle and just very dark motivation for, for certain people that clearly need help.
[00:10:14] Like this is somebody who needs. Folks that are, , drawn to this type of thought, unfortunately, and this type of action then there’s a new piece that seemed to be coming out, which I I’m starting to see nonprofits touch on, which is the narrative around replacement theory. And I’m not going to go into it in so much as, you know, giving it any sort of, even the word theory there it is.
[00:10:39] It is a white supremacist fever dream, and I don’t curse on this podcast, but I would, if I could, because it’s it’s a narrative that is unfortunately use because it’s pulled into media narratives and reiterated on shows like Tucker Carlson, but it has a very, very dark and dangerous, extreme narrative to it.
[00:11:02] And so there may be opportunities for if this does touch on a non-profits work in association with. You know, immigration, anything that supports black or brown people and their rights in this country to, take a look at it and see where your voice on it could, could lend a larger and more clarifying narratives on it.
[00:11:25] Absolutely George. I couldn’t agree more. And quite frankly, I want to see tech companies take a far more aggressive stance on combating this quite frankly. It’s unacceptable. The video was five streamed and is just it’s. So you type it into Google. It’s the first thing you see that is unacceptable. And I would love to see greater efforts behalf of big tech to work with nonprofits and civil society to, to attempt to mitigate this.
[00:11:58] Because quite frankly, it’s the pervasiveness of these kind of fringe ideas. And I know that’s a whole other thing, but I think that there can be a lot more done. And I think that nonprofits and civil society should be invited to play a role in.
[00:12:13] Yeah. I don’t know what the right answer is. I get worried sometimes about. The narratives that take hold and whether or not it’s used as an excuse to go after big tech. The truth is Twitch took that down within two minutes, which is a heck of a lot more impressive in terms of a timeframe than what Facebook did.
[00:12:32] A company, 10 X its size with Facebook live. The truth is the ability to publish on the web. Can’t be fully blocked. And by saying like, if only it was taken down, what in thirties. If only it was taken down in 10 seconds, I just don’t understand the channeling of the social solution. Can’t be a faster form of censorship.
[00:12:56] Would’ve stopped this. I’m not, I’m not buying that as a solution, giving that child that 18 year old, maybe not access to a assault rifle. Would be maybe where I start followed by again, pointing toward being very careful when someone’s consuming certain types of content in an extreme environment. And also this individual was given access to body armor.
[00:13:26] And so the whole narrative of good guy with a gun didn’t matter because this person was actually shot at. And it didn’t matter because we have turned extremists into super soldiers with over the counter shit. You can get it well, So I, I’m sorry, I’m not buying if only Twitch took it down and got Dan two minutes, I’m not, I’m not buying that sale.
[00:13:45] That’s fair. That’s a fair, that’s a fair argument. I agree with you the much more. Proactive way of dealing with this is a gun laws in New York actually has this red flag gun law that should have prevented the shooter from accessing this firearm. And for whatever reason,
[00:14:02] Yeah, I haven’t seen the full near, I mean, just, I haven’t seen the full narrative, but you know, there’s more, there’s more guns and people in this country. So I don’t know.
[00:14:10] I agree. Our thoughts are with the families and everyone affected by, by this fine. Our next story comes from news.art net.com. And this is about the Guggenheim museum, which has long resisted calls to drop the Sackler name, the Sackler family, being the family owners of the Purdue pharma corporation has finally quietly removed the Sackler name from. From the building, the Guggenheim has come under lots of criticism and there’s been sit in protests at the museum and attempt to bring to light how this family’s money is, is as you know.
[00:14:53] highlighted throughout this museum as a donor.
[00:14:56] And yeah, George authored this to you. I think I have. Complicated FOBTs here and being a new Yorker, we’re both new Yorkers. You walk through any museum, the Guggenheim, the met every exhibit is a who’s who of corporate power in America, half the ma is named after the Koch brothers. You know? So it’s yeah, I wonder what your take is on this.
[00:15:21] It’s kind of dovetails a bit also with when we were talking about how. Russian oligarchs were giving in the west to legitimize and cause wash disreputable actions and reputation, and to build themselves up, the nonprofit industry does offer this sort of pathway to respectability at a price. And the question is.
[00:15:48] Is it appropriately priced? Should that be for sale? I think this is a big move because clearly the Sackler name like has donated quite a bit to, to the arts and the arts are incredibly important, but maybe not as important as the fact that what they have done to. Drug addiction. And this country is probably unparalleled from other companies in terms of it’s devastation.
[00:16:20] And , maybe you don’t give them the social acceptance pass, but hopefully this is something that reverberates out there that it’s also hard. If you’re an art, I try to put on the other side of it, like there’s somebody on the fundraising team of a struggling museum trying to preserve.
[00:16:37] You know, history and legacy of fill in the blank type of art that already struggles. And to say like, oh, you’re not allowed to take, you know, money from somebody who that happened to make it from oil from this. So like, you know, where do you draw the line? I mean, I draw the line there, the Sacklers, but you know, it is, it makes, it makes for an interesting conversation, I think in philanthropic communities and maybe even.
[00:17:02] Just to bring it back to a listener right now you might want to have with, you know, your board and your supporters being like, you know, who would we not take money from if we did Y what would we do? You know, I think there’s a lot of folks that take it and be like, oh, you can make a donation, but sorry, we can’t name you.
[00:17:18] Like, what did you just do? They’re like, all right, we’re, we’re playing this weird sort of moral shell game.
[00:17:25] Yeah, I think that’s as an interesting analysis and to your point, I would not want to be the fundraiser I’m responsible for that, but definitely something to talk about. Within your organization. Another organization that’s been doing a lot of talking within itself is the Hollywood foreign press association, which you may know as the obscure organization that is responsible for hosting and promoting the golden Globes in Hollywood.
[00:17:55] So the Hollywood foreign press has been criticized pretty substantially in the past couple of years for. And I think rightly so and incredible lack of diversity kind of opaque voting processes. And as it turns out this organization, which is a nonprofit actually is reincorporating itself as essentially a business they’re selling off assets, they’re going to drop their nonprofit status and attempt to boost the golden Globes As a ceremony, I guess.
[00:18:29] I’m not as well versed in pop culture as nearly anyone, but it’s kind of an interesting move.
[00:18:38] Yeah, I don’t know. I thought it was just funny that it didn’t even Dawn on me that the Hollywood foreign press association was a nonprofit. There are a lot of non-profits out there operating for, for better or worse or for interesting. And I’m always curious when there’s a transition, either from a non-profit to for-profit for-profit to nonprofit.
[00:18:57] I tend to see this a lot less, the, the move. And I just curious to watch what the net effect is. If anything interesting comes of it, you know, we’ll bring it up, but you know, good luck. Sorry. You’re leading the team. Am I.
[00:19:13] don’t know if it gets us. Ricky Jervais is one more year of cringe-worthy. Self-loathing Hollywood criticism all sign up for that highlight reel.
[00:19:24] Yeah. As long as, you know, I feel maybe touch better that any profit they happen to be making off of that particular spectacle isn’t tax tax subsidized
[00:19:35] touch better.
[00:19:35] There you go. All right. How about a feel-good story, George?
[00:19:39] Sounds perfect.
[00:19:41] All right. This is from a local NBC affiliate. K G w. Dot com out of Oregon and it talks about an Oregon nonprofit that’s on a mission to bring awareness to plastic pollution by turning trash into treasure and has landed a permanent display at the Smithsonian museum of natural history in a.
[00:20:04] Washington DC. And essentially they’ve processed 37,000 tons of plastic from Oregon’s beaches. And they’ve created 87 works of art and the art as looking at some of the pictures kind of like wide ranging implications. But the, or vision it’s a wide vision. But it seems to me that you’re keeping trash out of the ocean and creating something beautiful.
[00:20:31] Sounds like a winning company.
[00:20:33] I look at this just incredibly creative to take the exact problem that is destroying sea life and turn it into incredible works of art, which then forced people to, to see this. And, you know, there’s this beautiful picture of a turtle created by all of the plastic junk and it just hits you so tangibly to see something at one striking beautiful something you’d associate with nature, but then realize that that that is exactly.
[00:21:03] These animals are consuming in the wild increasing amounts of plastic, which have a devastating, devastating impact on ecosystem could be ideas also, as you work on various issues of how do I take the thing that is the biggest threat and turn it into the medium of awareness. And there’s something beautiful about this.
[00:21:24] I love it. Thanks George.
[00:21:27] Thanks Nick.