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Changes coming to combat soaring food prices, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture says

Economy Food Prices
Posted at 8:05 PM, Oct 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-18 23:06:05-04

DENVER — If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you’ve probably noticed some prices are still soaring. And with Thanksgiving just over a month away, many are wondering how they'll afford to buy a meal with all the fixings.

“It’s really hard for me to afford my groceries,” said Kate Washburn.

Washburn says she can’t believe how expensive some grocery items are costing her when she goes to Safeway in Capitol Hill.

“My deodorant used to be like two for five (dollars), and now it’s like one for seven dollars,” she said. “Avocados here are like seven bucks for two of them.”

It’s not just Safeway. Grocery prices have gone up at several stores across the country.

Denver7 asked the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack what he’s doing to try and curb prices for consumers. He said his administration is working on a few things.

“Later this month, early next month, we’ll begin the process of doing a series of grants to expand processing capacity for meat and poultry products, which should help over time,” said Vilsack.

At the same time, Vilsack said his administration is helping struggling families by providing additional assistance through programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“We applied an inflation factor to that program and increased benefits by $26 a person per month,” he said.

With the Thanksgiving holiday just over a month away, shoppers have mixed reaction when it comes to the price of putting a meal on the table.

“I go into the grocery store, I buy what I want and then I leave. I never really think much about the price,” said Tim Harwig.

“I use coupons and meal plan very well, so never go buy a bunch of random stuff,” said Washburn.

Vilsack told Denver7 he’s starting to see some changes.

“The good news is we are beginning to see, in some food categories, a bit of an abatement of the food inflation, particularly on the protein side,” he said.

Vilsack blames the rise in prices, in part, on the war in Ukraine disrupting the global food supply, as well as the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the supply chain.