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Western Massachusetts residents feeling impact of higher food prices

George Brooks outside the Big E's grocery store in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
Alden Bourne
/
NEPM
George Brooks outside the Big E's grocery store in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Some western Massachusetts residents said they are feeling the impact of a nationwide increase in food prices.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said for the past year ending in April, prices for food eaten at home went up more than 10%. It was the biggest jump in more than forty years.

Carol Popielarczk was shopping at Big E's grocery store in Easthampton on Monday.

"Every week I go, the prices have gone up," she said. "It seems like eggs, every time I go there, they go up like fifty cents a week at the Big Y. That's where I mainly (do my) shopping."

Popielarczk said the price increases haven't impacted what she and her husband buy.

George Brooks said it's different for him and his wife. They collect Social Security benefits and some food stamp funds.

"We have to be very cautious as to what we buy," he said "We can't buy steak. It's whatever's cheapest. Can't get the good stuff, the good products, you know. You have to look for your second choice."

The federal government said the biggest price jumps were in the categories of meat, poultry, fish and eggs.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.