Poll: Floridians struggle to afford groceries, as prices outpace incomes

Tampa inflation
The key driver: incomes are not keeping pace with the rising cost of food.

It’s getting significantly harder to put food on the table, according to a new poll commissioned by No Kid Hungry Florida. In fact, 72% of Floridians said it’s harder to afford food for their families than it was just a year ago.

The key driver: incomes are not keeping pace with the rising cost of food.

A significant majority of survey respondents (78%) said the cost of food is rising faster than their income. Parents (83%) and Floridians living in rural communities (82%) are feeling the impact most acutely. Middle-income households are no exception, with more than two-thirds of those with an annual income between $50k – $99k reporting it’s gotten harder to afford groceries in the past year.

The impact is real: Floridians are sacrificing their time and being forced to purchase less healthy food options in an attempt to stretch their grocery budgets. Respondents reported shopping at multiple grocery stores (58%), shopping at less convenient locations for cheaper prices (48%), buying less protein (45%), or buying less or no fresh produce (40%) to extend their budget.

“Families are facing a real crisis when it comes to affording food, and it’s forcing many households to make difficult decisions that compromise their time and their health,” said No Kid Hungry Florida Director Sky Beard. “Even before they reach that checkout line, Floridians are passing by the produce aisle, putting food back on the shelves, skipping meals and even borrowing money to afford groceries – all because their wages simply aren’t keeping up with the cost.”

The impact of this affordability crisis is palpable, with more than a third (35%) of respondents reporting experiencing food insecurity in the past year. This is a staggering proportion of Floridians who are skipping meals entirely or not eating enough nutritious food because they can’t afford to buy enough groceries for their families.

Many respondents shared the healthy choices they could make were they not facing a constant struggle to stretch their grocery budgets

“I would buy the healthiest food available for my family, cook at home more frequently, and model healthy food habits more consistently,” said one dad from Polk County.

These healthier choices significantly impact health and academic performance: “My kids and I would definitely eat healthier! Better food equals better performance — better performance in every department,” a Walton County mom shared.

The overwhelming majority want action.

Nearly all respondents (95%) agreed that child hunger should not exist in Florida. Beyond this, there was near unanimous agreement (95%) that ending childhood hunger should be a bipartisan effort, with many (92%) calling on elected officials to do more to end child hunger across the state.

You can read a summary of the poll here, including anecdotes from Floridians struggling to afford food for their families, the full questionnaire, methodology, and results.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Michael roberts

    April 24, 2024 at 4:45 pm

    when we came to floriduh in 2018,we were lied to. We were told how cheap it is to live here. We have found it to be very expensive compared to most other states. The cost and quality of grocery and dining is not competitive to places like NYC DC Austin and Chicago. the real estate taxes are a coin toss. The cost of all insurance is unacceptable. The quality of education is substandard.Water quality here is deplorable. The city of Vero Beach and surrounding area in the county has subdivisions in the works everywhere and just last week sent out a letter asking for water conservation,,no forethought or good planning.

    • rick whitaker

      April 29, 2024 at 1:59 pm

      MICHAEL ROBERTS, florida has a real bad government. that is why other places are so much more affordable.

  • Jan P

    April 29, 2024 at 7:49 am

    It’s called INFLATION! And it is caused by the federal government spending too much, rising gas prices, etc. How deceitful that you wrote an entire article about rising grocery prices without once mentioning inflation!

    • rick whitaker

      April 29, 2024 at 11:39 am

      JAN P, unregulated billionaires is the reason behind the high prices. don’t let maga confuse you, they are depending on that. the extremely wealthy depend on confusion to take advantage, causing higher prices.

  • Michael roberts

    April 29, 2024 at 11:06 am

    I see the problem is not inflation per se it is inflation caused directly related to price gouging in the private sector,,, blame the gov ? try looking at corporate profits. This is a private sector issue that needs to be controlled

    • rick whitaker

      April 29, 2024 at 1:55 pm

      MICHAEL ROBERTS, that’s when the government is suppose to step in and make the PROPER adjudgments. maga is preventing that from happening.

  • Michael roberts

    April 29, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    once again agree
    immigration policy as well and a million other things

Comments are closed.


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