SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — As consumers, we’ve noticed a big price jump at grocery stores, gas stations, and even with rent payments because inflation is at its highest point in 39 years.

As budgets become tighter consumers are worried about what is causing the rising costs, and how long it will continue.

“We’re really almost in a perfect storm for generating this kind of inflation,” said Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Louisiana State University Shreveport Doug White. “I really think just people underestimated how quickly this blip would work its way through the economy.”

A combination of the pandemic, supply chain backups, worker shortages, and a higher demand for goods created a rapid increase in prices. Consumers are not going out as often to restaurants or events and they’re spending more money on products.

“So far, the problem is that just the demand for goods has gone up,” White said. “We’re still at over 100 ships trying to get into the Port of Los Angeles. So all those goods coming in are stuck, you know, waiting on containers on boats to be unloaded and then shifted. So that causes price to go up.”

This trickle-down effect is impacting vital services in Northwest Louisiana. Louisiana ranks in the top 5 states where people face food insecurity and increasing costs are making it harder for families to put food on the table.

“We see more people coming to receive food,” said Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana Martha Marak, “and it’s unfortunate that our supply chain is still having such a negative effect on the amount of food that’s available, not just in our grocery stores, but for food banks too. That, coupled with high transportation costs, has made our job very, very difficult.”

The inventory at the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana is at an all-time low.

“As that food is not available, we’re having to go and actually purchase more, which makes it very expensive for us, and then pay those higher transportation fees,” Marak said, “and we know so many people depend on us for their food to fill that gap that, you know, our team works very, very hard to do the very best they can to help our neighbors.”

Economists say it may be quite a while until we see an end to rising inflation. White suggests it may be another 8 months to a year before it works its way through the economy.

If you’re seeking assistance with rent or utilities, learn more about the Caddo Parish ERA Program Portal, Bossier Parish Rental Assistance Clinic, or the Caddo Community Action Agency.

To help the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana replenish its low inventory, click here to donate.