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Cost of meat, produce on the rise in the Heartland

A worker at Essner's Custom Butcher prepares to package bratwurst for retail sales.
A worker at Essner's Custom Butcher prepares to package bratwurst for retail sales.(Jeremy J. Ford)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - With consumer prices around the U.S. steadily climbing, there has been a significant increase in two essential products: lumber and food.

The price of lumber has more than quadrupled, and the price of fresh cut meats has doubled.

“Prices are up. I think we are going to see them stay like this. I hope that we can just level out and stop increasing,” business owner Denise Essner said about the price of meat going up on a weekly basis. “We’re seeing price increases probably twice a week instead of just once a week. Everything goes up. Pork’s been going up about 20 cents every delivery so that’s about 40 or 50 cents a week.”

She said some products have gone up more than $4 a pound higher than at this time last year, all due to the lack of supply.

“The big processors are not at full capacity yet from COVID and worker shortage whatever all those reasons are,” she said.

At grocery stores and restaurants across the Heartland, the cost of meat and produce are on the rise. Some say it’s the cause of the pandemic, and others say unemployment has a direct effect on what your paying for your food.

“Basically, like its due to the fact from this COVID,” said Cape Girardeau resident Sherman Street.

He said in an effort to cut store prices, one of his strategies is to buy in bulk.

“I’m more likely store hopping. I’m more likely trying to look for better prices,” he said.

Denise Essner said she’s hopeful that prices will go back to normal in the upcoming weeks, as people return to work.

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