Food banks feel effects of high egg prices

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:00 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The bird flu has been a problem in the United States for several months and now, it’s affecting the cost of eggs, with prices skyrocketing over the last few weeks.

According to the food market data company Urner Barry, the average price for eggs right now is $4.33 a dozen. A year ago, it was around $1.33 a dozen.

Prices are also hitting community food banks hard. Channel One Regional Food Bank in Rochester said its feeling the effects.

According to Channel One, the prices of eggs are cutting into their overall budget.

Channel One Executive Director Virginia Merritt said a month ago, they were paying $4,000 dollars a pallet, and now, it’s climbed to $5,000 a pallet. She said the numbers break down to $67.35/case from December, increasing to $82.35/case in January.

She said adding to the problem is that Channel One is seeing fewer donations, with an increased community need. She said they are serving more people now than ever before, even more than they did during the pandemic, with an additional 1,000 people coming to the food shelf every month.

“It’s very difficult for families when the basic commodity food becomes unaffordable,” Merritt said. “Our budget keeps getting stretched and stretched and stretched. We’ve never seen prices like this before, and we’re having to make tough decisions on what kind of food we provide for our shoppers. A year ago, we would’ve said that eggs were like a very affordable protein. The prices are just shocking.”

Merritt said the community has been very generous and they will continue to rely on the help.

“We look at all the food available to us,” she said. “Our team works tirelessly to find the best prices possible. You know, there may come a time where it will need to be a different protein than eggs, but we don’t like to make those choices.”

Merritt said she wants the public to know that the food shelf is there for everyone, despite some struggles.

“You know, we may be paying too much for these eggs,” she said. “But there’s food at Channel One and if people are having trouble affording their groceries, we want to welcome them to shop weekly. We don’t want people to think ‘oh someone else needs it more,’ we want people to come here and get the nutrition they need to feed their families.”

For more information on Channel One Regional Food Bank, click here.