Food prices at grocery stores rise for 12th consecutive month due to lack of supplies and workers

National News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Food prices continue to surge across the United States.

“All of our meat has gone up, maybe 20%, I would say easily. Chicken has gone up I would say the same,” said co-owner of Earl’s Grocery Bonnie Warford.

It’s a price change that is not just happening at the Charlotte grocery store.

According to the U.S. Food and Agriculture Organization, prices have risen for the 12th consecutive month, and are about 40 percent more expensive compared to this time last year.  

“I see little tiny increases and every time I get in order in, I have to check all of the prices on anything, including wine,” Warford said.

The organization said from April to May, the U.S. saw the biggest month-to-month increase is food prices since 2010.

“It’s like this perfect storm of inflation and productivity,” Warford said.

Dry weather overseas, high demand for popular ingredients like sugar and vegetable oil, as well as a worker shortage, are playing a role in the price surge.

“There are companies that we can’t even order from because they don’t even have enough truck drivers to get the food to us,” Warford said.

While most consumers will be forking over more at the counter, food pantries like Loaves and Fishes in Charlotte will be taking on the extra costs.

“When food prices go up, it definitely affects our budget,” Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Tina Postel said.

The pantry feeds about 1,000 people a week and expects that number to increase during the summer months.

“You can’t do that without buying more food,” Postel said.

The food pantry said about 20 percept of the food distributed is purchased by the nonprofit.

“Having to buy more food, it’s definitely more expensive now, that’s why we need the community now more than ever,” Postel said. “Because we if are struggling to pay for it at Loaves and Fishes, then that means even more families out in the community are going to need to rely on a network of pantries like we have in order to put food around their table.”

The pantry is looking for those high demand and inflated products like meats and pasta.

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