Saturday, June 14, 2008

Feeling the pinch

Since I live alone and my cooking consists of slitting the top crust of the pot pie before I put it in the microwave, I haven't much noticed how food prices have risen. Until yesterday.

Every time I go to the grocery or drug store, I pick up something that costs $1 or less and put it in the bag for the local food pantry. This way I collect a big bag of non-perishables without placing a strain on my budget. If I'm in a hurry or don't feel like roaming the aisles for a bargain, I have some old faithfuls that I would grab because -- on sale or not -- they were never more than $1. Specifically generic tomato soup or storebrand spaghetti. Hey! Now both products are over $1! (I ended up with Rice-a-Roni, reduced this week from $1.69 to $1.00.) For me, it really isn't that big a deal. But it got me worrying …

I understand that packaged foods travel by truck or rail and now fuel costs more. But this is so sad. More of our neighbors need help from the food pantry, yet it will be harder for local families to contribute groceries because their food dollar doesn't go as far as it used to.