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Food Price Forecast for 2023: 8% Inflation Likely

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UNDATED (HPM) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts food prices won’t rise as sharply in 2023 but still could climb 8% over last year’s rates. Harvest Public Media reports the higher prices are affecting grocers as well as consumers.

Robert Kimball owns Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery & Deli in Omaha. He says business has slowed down as his costs have risen up to 15% in the past year. Kimball says he’s doing his best to keep the lights on and limit price increases for customers. But still, he’s seeing fewer folks in the check out lines. “I’m losing some customers just because they can go to a big box chain store and purchase their weekly groceries cheaper than what they could purchase here,” he said.

Just getting product to the store is a big expense. Kimball says fuel costs were up $8,000 last year, and he expects it to increase more this year.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has been seeing the impacts of high food prices since last summer. More people needed help feeding themselves and their families. The food bank’s Cathy Nestlen says it’s not just high prices hurting diets. The government recently stopped providing extra food benefits (SNAP) – removing at least 95 dollars from monthly budgets. “The timing could not be worse, with inflation still what it is,” she said. “People are scared. People are already down to one or two meals a day.”

Nestlen says the food bank is also grappling with high prices. Donations are down and they have to foot the bill for increasingly pricy pantry items. Similar situations are reported at food banks in Kansas.

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