Rising food prices hit residents hard

March 13, 2008 3:25:09 PM PDT
With the stock market struggling and prices for most everything going up, more people are having to make tough choices in order to make ends meet.Paying for food is becoming harder for many families and businesses in our area.

Eyewitness News reporter Emily Smith has more.

Prices at the gas pump usually get people talking. On Long Island right now, it's at an all-time high, averaging $3.35 a gallon But now consumers say it's the recent spikes in food prices putting people in shock.

"I could spend $200 on food and look in the refridgerator, and there's nothing in there," resident Beth Kaminsky said.

Customers at Vito's Bakery are paying three times what they were just about a month ago.

And so is the owner, Rosa Errico, pointing out a two-day supply of all-purpose flour has gone from $32 to $61 since the first of the year.

"I was selling rye bread at a $1.90 a month ago, and it's up to $3 now," she said. "And it's going to go up again."

Everyone agrees flour has been the most dramatic price increase. And it is affecting everyone from pizza places to people at the grocery store.

At Giaccone's in Mineola, a slice of pizza costs under $2. But owners could be forced to bring it up to $2.25 because they say, just a week ago, a single bag of flour cost $18. Now, it's $32.

"I was in Manhattan yesterday," Jimmy Giaccone said. "I bought a slice of pizza for $4."

Grocery shoppers say everything is rising in price.

"Especially the milk," one shopper said. "And cereal is astronomical."

So what's causing this?

Giaccone's supplier says it is a harsh combination of a weak dollar, the ethanol effect and, of course, demand.

But when it comes to food, you have to have it. It is forcing people to put their money where their mouth is.