Inflation making it harder to afford healthy food in southwest Virginia2 min read
ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — When it comes to the food on your plate, normally the only thing you count is calories, but now, you’ll be counting dollars.
According to the U.S. inflation calculator, the prices of fruits and vegetables rose 7.8% since April 2021.
WFXR News spoke with a Roanoke resident on Thursday, May 12 who says eating healthy is going to require patience, sacrifice, and time if people want to save money.
In a time where many people are stressing out about inflation costs, retiree Ginger Eure has started gardening. She says it is both cost efficient and relaxing.
“There’s a real joy in having something to eat that you grew,” said Eure. “That’s just fun, and my father always grew tomatoes and we just have a connection with growing things.”
She is carrying on the work of her father, planting tomatoes in hopes that they will be available by the summer. According to Eure, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, buying seeds from the grocery store is expensive.
“Once COVID hit and we were in lockdown, it was hard to even get seeds. That pushed people outdoors gardening,” said Eure.
Last year, Eure started gardening at the Mountain View Community Garden for her mental health. She says it was an investment, but it’s worth it.
According to Eure, gardening may help you save money, but it might also make people a little happier.
“This is not a huge commitment here…It’s a kind of therapy. It feels good,” said Eure.
Meanwhile, Roanoke Co+op — Virginia’s largest cooperatively-owned, natural foods grocery store — says prices have increased a bit for certain items.
“I was talking to our produce manager earlier. Some of the items are unexpected — grapes, leafy greens have been more expensive now,” said John Bryant, the marketing manager for Roanoke Co+op
The store says 18 pounds of grapes, which is about eight bags, has increased from just over $20 to around $60 since last year. Meanwhile, leafy greens are up about 80 cents.
Bryant says there are ways to shop and still save if you go to the grocery store, such as sticking to a budget or talking to the store managers about their ideas for food preparation.