High grocery prices caused by inflation still impacting people this Thanksgiving

There are a lot of Thanksgiving turkey giveaways this time of year.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:31 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There are a lot of Thanksgiving turkey giveaways this time of year.

But with inflation still out of control, is that pushing more and more folks to similar events throughout the area?

Folks were excited to bring home a turkey for their Thanksgiving meals this year at the Laborers Union Hall in Baton Rouge.

“So we were able to do 300 turkeys this year,” said Baton Rouge Constable Terrica Williams.

Williams and friends gave out turkeys and all the fixings to people in the community Thursday, November 16.

“One lady said that she was raising her grandkids, and she said if she didn’t have this, my grandkids wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving. So, I get emotional because that’s a blessing to be able to bless other people with a turkey for children,” said Constable Williams.

“Everybody’s struggling now because grociers have gone up tremendously, and everybody’s trying to cook something for their families, and all the people don’t have something to ocok for their families,” said Doris Thomas, who showed up to the event.

“Takes a burden off of me and everything you know, I’m on fixed income and everything. So, it helps me out a whole lot,” said Hunter Coates, who attended the event.

There were no turkeys left just about 15 minutes after the giveaway began.

Americans will have to dig deeper into their wallets to enjoy that Thanksgiving meal once again this year, according to research by the organization ‘Consumer Energy Alliance.’

“Prices for Thanksgiving staples are up across the board with ham up 5.2% from last year (a near all-time high), canned cranberries up 60%, canned pumpkin up 30%, russet potatoes up 14%, canned green beans up almost 9%, sweet potatoes up 4%, beer up 5.3% and wine up 1.2%. These price increases are on top of the 20% increase for the cost of a Thanksgiving meal last year; and 14% increase the year before that,” said the news release from the organization.

“What we’ve seen in the last 3 years is just going to continue into next week, with higher prices predominately caused by higher energy prices,” said David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance.

Holt says inflation is tied directly to the fact that we’re paying more for energy, and that we’re not developing enough of our own energy in this country to get around that problem.

“Diesel goes into farming, natural gas goes into fertilizer for farming, so anytime there are higher diesel prices or natural gas prices, the farming community pays more. And so we found this year that the farming community is paying nearly 10 million dollars more for farming in previous years. So, that’s adding to the cost of food we’re buying,” said Holt.

Consumer Energy Alliance’s 2023 Food and Energy Report found that the average American family of four will pay nearly $15,656 in 2023 for food, a projected increase of 5.8%. That follows 2022, a year in which Americans spent more on food than ever before.

“It’s just times that we’re going through. and it’s just a blessing to give back and give somebody something. If a turkey’s what it takes to make someone have a happy Thanksgiving, that’s the plan to make them have a happy Thanksgiving,” said Constable Williams.

However, in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 38th annual Thanksgiving dinner survey, they found that this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 will be $61.17, or approximately $6.12 per guest.

“This represents a 4.5% decline from historically high prices last year, driven by a decline in the price of the Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece – the turkey. Despite the year-over-year relief, the cost is still 25% higher compared to 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the survey said.

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