‘Everything’s going up’: Seniors struggle with the prices of food, fuel, and medicine

A key inflation measure grew at the fastest pace in 40 years

Jenny Sugilio (right), the director of the center, helped Beatriz Negron load groceries into her car at the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Parker Hill Fenway Neighborhood Service Center. Negron has noticed the rapid rise of food prices and visits the pantry once a month for food.LANE TURNER/GLOBE STAFF

The last time prices rose this fast, today’s seniors were in their prime and drawing paychecks. Now they’re older, retired, and feeling the crunch in a world where everything suddenly costs more.

Higher rents and heating bills and steeper gas and prescription drug prices are pinching almost everyone. But older folks on fixed incomes are being squeezed hardest. Lately, seniors make up nearly half — more than in the past — of those stopping by a food pantry on Mission Hill run by Action for Boston Community Development, an antipoverty group, on the three days each week it distributes chicken, fruit, cereal, and other provisions.