War in Ukraine inflating grocery store prices

Now, I’m spending over $100 which is a lot for a college student,” said Devin Byas, a frequent customer at Price Chopper.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is putting a massive strain on the global food supply. With the war in Ukraine and labor shortages caused by the pandemic, upstate New Yorkers are paying higher prices including dinner-time staples.

“Due to the supply of wheat, majority of that coming from that general region as imports to other suppliers to procure such ingredients as making pasta,” said Stephen Carroll, co-manager of Price Chopper. “Wheat being a major factor and since the war started, they aren’t able to plant or harvest and this is harvesting time,” said Carroll.

Carroll believes customers at the Oswego store can expect to see much higher prices for pasta in the fall.

The chief of the U.N. World Food Program warned that a potential global food crisis might be on the horizon which has not been seen since World War ll.

With imports trapped in both Russia and Ukraine, wheat prices have increased by 21 percent, barley by 33 percent and some fertilizers by 40 percent over the last month.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization of the reports that the food price index averaged 159.3 points in March this year. Thirty-three point six percent higher than it was in last March. 

“This time last year, on average I would spend $70 -$90 after each grocery trip,” said Devin Byas, a frequent customer at Price Chopper. “Now, I’m spending over $100 which is a lot for a college student,” said Byas.

Byas says he’s not happy with the recent price increase.

To save money, Carroll recommends budgeting first and planning ahead before your trip to the grocery store and trying to limit the impulsive buys. 

An official from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said food prices are expected to rise up to four percent by the end of this year.