How gas prices can have an effect on food security

Updated: Jul 15

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. hit an all-time high this week at $4.37 and the rising costs are taking a toll on food insecurity in Siouxland.

Ever since the pandemic began, the Food Bank of Siouxland has transported 60% of its food product. That adds up as gas prices rise.


Jake Wanderscheid is the executive director of the Food Bank of Siouxland. He said so far this year the Food Bank is spending an extra $750 on gas each month. He said fuel is not the only product that’s gotten more expensive.


“The increased costs can be seen in the price of products that we’re trying to buy or the lack of product that a store can have because they might be ordering a little less because of that transportation cost,” Wanderscheid said.


Wanderscheid said the Food Bank uses diesel fuel to move its products which according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration is also at a record high price of $5.50 a gallon.

Jeff Zink is an Associate Professor of Economics at Morningside University. He said diesel fuel is used in everything from trucking to farm equipment.


“So if all those things go up, then you’re going to see increased transportation costs for getting food from place to place and getting other kinds of products from place to place,” Zink said.


Zink said food and gas prices are extremely volatile and ongoing events in the world will continue to take their toll on Siouxlanders.


“This volatility is enhanced because of for example the uncertainty of the war going on in Ukraine, uncertainty in other things that might cross over with that,” Zink said.

Zink said changes in consumer behavior such as people driving less or buying fuel-efficient cars could have a long-term impact on gas prices.

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