'Everything is expensive': NC families feel pinch of soaring inflation

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A trip to the grocery store has gotten pretty pricey for longtime Raleigh resident McArthur Clemons. The 78-year-old spent Thursday afternoon at Food Lion buying only the essentials.

"Everything is expensive. Everything," said Clemons. "The essentials came over $100 and I only got 30 items. That's out of the ordinary for essentials."

Increased prices have forced him to re-budget. Raleigh resident Michelle Parham is buying less nowadays, too.

"It is nothing I can do about it. I will need these things so, I will just have to pay for it," she said.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor show the cost of food, electricity and housing has increased 7.4% during the last 12 months. It is the largest increase in over 40 years. In the last year, the price of gas has increased from $2.17 cents a gallon to $3.41 cents. The cost of breakfast staples such as eggs in just the past month has risen 13 cents. Bacon has gone up to more than $1 a pound in a year.

Moody's Analytics says for the average American household, the increase in inflation means they are spending $250 more a month.

Under President Joe Biden, inflation has hit a 40-year high.

"Anytime we see a change in the economic environment. It definitely impacts what we see and what our partner agencies see," said Jessica Whichard with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina.

According to Whichard, more North Carolinians are counting on food banks to eat. She says they are turning to food banks, soup kitchens and SNAP benefits.

"We see some of those specific items that are more expensive: dairy, protein, that sort of things. That's the type of requests our partners end up seeing on the front lines too. It is a daily challenge," she said.

It has become a challenge indeed that some residents can't get used to as they wonder if prices will ever drop back down.

"There is no going back. I've watched that over the years. When it goes up, it stables or keeps going up," said Clemons.
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