AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Food prices are increasing at a rate we haven’t seen in decades.
Hotel, airfare, even gas prices have fallen during the coronavirus pandemic but that’s not the story for food.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Wayne Lanier, Owner of Lanier’s Fresh Meat Market.
Lanier’s butcher shop has been in business in Augusta for more than 50 years. Food prices are soaring and Lanier is keeping a close watch.
He explained, “I use bottom rounds to make a lot of stuff out of. Forty-five days ago I could get that bottom round for $2.79. Today it costs $6.79 for the same piece of meat.”
The price of food rose 2.6% in April according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the food supply chain.
“You just about have to beg for availability of meat. I have about six vendors and I start calling them three days before I want my order. Asking them to please look out for me and save me as much as you can,” said Lanier.
In April we saw the biggest price jump in the last eight months. Overall, meat increased by about four percent while eggs shot up more than 16%.
Rebecca van Loenen, the Executive Director of Augusta Locally Grown said, “What is interesting is the price of the food from the local farmers has not been increasing so you have a whole supply chain problem that’s breaking down across the US. But when you look at the local farmers markets, you’re not seeing that reflected in their pricing.”
“I’m paying the prices I’m paying because I at least want to have meat. I can’t control the prices but I can try to control my inventory and try to keep meat on the shelves,” said Lanier.
With high demand comes fewer deals. Lanier hopes things get back normal soon.
He said, “For reasons, I’m sure some it’s virus and I’m sure some of its greed.”