COLORADO SPRINGS — There is a grocery scenario most are experiencing right now. "My grocery bill's significantly higher now, for the same amount of produce and meats,” said Amber Perry who has long tracked her grocery budget closely.
According to the Department of Labor and Statistics, overall consumer prices made a year-to-year jump of 6.2% in the month of October. It is a 30 year high for the consumer price index. The index is an average of food, energy, and retail sales. Energy is up the most at around 30%. Food, with an increase of 5.3% is the second highest increase.
Perry said she’s noticed the largest increases when buying meat and poultry. She recalls sticker shock when buying chicken in the bulk pack at a local warehouse store. “Up and up and up. I've seen an increase in just the last couple of months where it went from 14.99 to 16.99 like overnight. And I went, ‘did we lose all the chickens?’ Why did this change so drastically."
Meat, poultry, and fish show the highest percentage increase among food categories. The average is close to 12% for the food group.
Whether large or small shoppers see the result when they check-out and pay. “At the end of a shopping trip, that all adds up in your cart," said Care and Share, CEO, Lynne Telford. Care and Share is a resource for local food banks. They operate with generous donations, as well as food they buy. The large quantities they purchase, offer some perspective on the impact to budgets from price increases. "Two years ago we could buy a truckload of peanut butter for $28,000 and right now it's costs us $51,000,” said Telford.
Aid organizations like Catholic Charities of Central Colorado expect an increase of people needing financial and food help. Lorri Orwig, Chief Financial Officer for Catholic Charities said they know the impact of rising costs will also go beyond the people they serve. "We're going to be seeing inflation as a problem for the entire community It's not just isolated to those in need." That could be a young couple trying to get a start, a family adding a child, or someone trying to save for retirement.