Wow, when I read that headline…wow. I am fortunate to have a good, stable job — and while the price of food has increased, my checkbook hasn’t suffered much.
Here’s some interesting facts from the story:
U.S. food prices rose 4 percent in 2007, compared with an average 2.5 percent annual rise for the last 15 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the agency says 2008 could be worse, with a rise of as much as 4.5 percent.
U.S. households still spend a smaller chunk of their expenses for foods than in any other country — 7.2 percent in 2006, according to the USDA. By contrast, the figure was 22 percent in Poland and more than 40 percent in Egypt and Vietnam.
Still, the higher U.S. prices seem eye-popping after years of low inflation. Eggs cost 25 percent more in February than they did a year ago, according to the USDA. Milk and other dairy products jumped 13 percent, chicken and other poultry nearly 7 percent.
A family of four is eligible for a maximum $542 a month in food stamps, which never lasted the whole month before, Food Bank of New Jersey’s DiChiara said.
I hope you don’t think I’m being preachy, but for those of us who may not be as affected by the food costs, let’s remember the people who are working hard yet unable to put enough food on their table. There are a bunch of links on the side of my blog to various non-profit food organizations (send me an email if I’m missing your favorite organization!). And if you don’t have extra cash, there’s always FreeRice — where you answer a few questions and they will donate rice for free!