Drought Raises Food Prices - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Drought Raises Food Prices

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The lack of rain and water continues to take a toll on the country.  The price of water has gone up and the cost of food is being affected.

Food prices are projected to go up by as much as 3.5 percent this year, causing grocery stores and consumers to feel the brunt.

“I’m kind of unhappy about it but I got to have food,” said grocery shopper Gerry Awtry.

Victoria Hernandez, service manager at United Market Street has seen a spike in the price of meat.

“It’s supply and demand.  There won’t be as many crops this year so it’s going to cost a little bit more to get those in here.  Right now we have seen a rise in beef prices.  We’re expecting to have a rise in produce prices like lettuce, melons, strawberries, anything that might take more water,” she said.

90 percent of the nation’s strawberries come from California that is currently suffering from an extended drought.  This is problematic because California supplies 95 percent of the nation’s produce.

Ranchers have also had to sell their herds of cattle, causing the price of meat to go up.  

Changes in food costs are forcing grocery shoppers to make some financial adjustments.

“I buy less food but make things last.  You just do what you have to do,” said Wichita Falls resident Michael Maxwell.

“We really watch for sales and we actually eat more at home, I think,” said another Wichita Falls resident Elaine Beck.

In order to ease the strain on consumers, Hernandez said United Market Street is doing everything they can to keep prices affordable.

“We’re just trying to take care of our guests and we’re going to continue to search for anyway we can bring them the lowest prices available,” said Hernandez.

According to the federal government, food prices have gone up 6.8 percent since 2011.

Chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon prices have skyrocketed 22.8 percent.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel 6.