PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - With food prices soaring, a trip to the grocery store might be tough to stomach.
The Labor Department reported Wednesday that the meats, poultry, fish and eggs have increased a combined more than 10% in the last year.
Another recent report from the USDA shows the consumer price index for all food went up by nearly a half percent in just one month, from July to August – and is nearly 4% higher than in August of last year.
“Groceries are really so much more expensive,” said Portland shopper Cynthia Wisehart outside a Safeway.
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“There are times when I wonder if I can even afford to include meat in my diet right now,” Wisehart said.
Several factors are contributing to the increasing price of foods, according to Portland wholesale distribution owner Heman Bhojwani.
“Limited production, limited capacity, that gets passed on, the shipping cost gets passed on and here we are having to raise pricing,” Bhojwani said.
Bhojwani owns Earthly Gourmet, and specializes in vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free products, among other specialty items.
“It’s been a challenge to get those items in bulk to begin with, and now with the supply chain logistical issues it has compounded that,” Bhojwani said.
“Unfortunately, that cost gets passed on along the way to the end-consumer because our customers are also having to raise their price as a result,” Bhojwani added.
It’s an effect of the pandemic on producers and suppliers.
On top of that, truck driver shortages in the U.S. are also delaying freight shipments on domestic goods.
“What normally would take two to three days to get to us is now taking a minimum of two to three weeks,” Bhojwani said.
Bhojwani said he hopes that prices will level off and drop sometime in the coming spring.
Until then, he’s grateful customers are understanding and willing to be flexible.
“Basically, we are all hands on deck to make sure they get properly stocked,” Bhojwani said.