Food Prices Skyrocketing At Grocery Stores - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Food Prices Skyrocketing At Grocery Stores

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by Steve Hayslip             

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -   Prices keep going up.  Lately, we've seen a big spike in gas prices, and now your wallet could take a big hit at the grocery store.

Shoppers at Compton's Foodland love their store because of the friendly people, fresh produce and good prices.  But those prices are rising, and it's not just at Foodland.  Grocery prices everywhere are skyrocketing at a rate not seen in 20 years.

"Some economists are predicting it's going to go up 15 to 20 percent," said Dr. Soumen Ghosh who teaches Finance at Tennessee State University.  "That's all areas including milk and everything."

"It's going to hurt a lot," said shopper Jo Riggan.  "I think it's going to cut back on things you enjoy getting.  The foods you need a lot of, people are going to do without."

What's behind the price hike?  One reason is in the produce section.  Last summer's drought crippled the corn crop, and that's created a ripple effect throughout the food chain.  "The corn goes everywhere, from meat producers to hogs, everywhere," said Dr. Ghosh.

Rising prices won't just affect people in Nashville, or just the U.S., but all over the world.  Some kids at West End United Methodist Church will learn just how hard it hurts through a unique program at the church that just started Friday.

Youth Minister Sean Williams had two tables set up for the kids to see.  "This table represents a hungry child, a malnourished child, a starving child," said Williams as he pointed to one table with a tiny bowl of rice.  "This is the amount of rice that child would eat in a week."  The table also include a tiny wristband that showed how small a malnourished child's arm would be, as well as a small bucket that aimed to show how little that child would weigh.

The other table had a much larger bowl of rice to demonstrate what amount would be needed for a healthy child and the tables were in sharp contrast to each other.  It's a comparison that could get much worse as food prices go higher.

Most experts say the overall hike within the next year will be about 10 percent.  Besides the drought, other price factors include higher production costs and improving foreign economies.

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