SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – You may have noticed the price of just about everything at the grocery store has gone up, and it’s not because you’re buying more.
In April, grocery store prices spiked the most that they had in one month since 1974. The price of everything; fruits, vegetables, cereal, meat, dairy, all of it, went up. This happened as unemployment skyrocketed and many Americans faced food insecurity and smaller budgets due to COVID-19.
Now, economists tell CNN that the price increases stem mostly from the explosion of demand and a supply chain that was slow to react.
So, as stay-at-home orders went into effect, schools and restaurants started closing, and people started cooking at home more. At the same time, meat processing plants started shutting down because workers started getting sick at an alarming rate.
Now, the nation’s top union has blasted Kroger’s decision to end its Hero Bonus, pointing out the pandemic is not over. The extra 2 dollars an hour that employees were getting for being on the front lines ends this weekend, but Kroger has now said it will be offering employees up to $400 as a “thank you payment.”
Restaurant owners are also dealing with the grocery price increase as they work to reopen. Wholesale beef prices hit record numbers recently. This week, a restaurant owner told CNN, “If I can reopen, I’m probably going to have to increase my menu prices if this does not change.”