Staple foods sought
A salad sandwich was often considered a cheap packed lunch but now the price of a tomato has risen 56.9 per cent making it a costly bite.
Not only have tomato prices increased, the price of food in general has risen 7.5 per cent annually.
With the price of power and other bills also peaking, many are struggling to come to terms with the ever-rising foods costs.
Matamata Foodbank manager Raewyn, who asked to not be fully named, said they were always noticing an increase of people who needed extra food in their cupboards.
‘‘The need for food parcels is constantly going up at the moment but we cope with it. We have to.’’ she said.
‘‘People have enough other bills to keep a roof over their head and sometimes food seems to be on the lower end of the scale of importance.’’ She said it was the basic staple foods people were after.
The foodbank relies heavily on community funding to support those who need a helping hand.
Figures released by Statistics New Zealand show overall food prices rose 1.4 per cent in June with the price of vegetables up 12.2 per cent.
The rise in fruit and vegetable prices was influenced by the rise in tomatoes and other seasonal vegetable including capsicums which have risen 43.7 per cent.
But despite the expensive vegetables; meat, poultry and fish prices fell 3.2 per cent from their peak in May and chicken is down 10.4 per cent. Matamata Household Budgeting adviser Wendy, who also cannot be fully named, said with prices rising, there were a few basic guidelines to keep to when shopping to ensure the grocery bill is kept to a minimum.
‘‘Stick to a list – don’t go shopping when you are hungry,’’ she said.
‘‘ Try and buy everything on special, buy seasonal food and avoid pre-packaged food. These are all basic things but they can help make a difference.’’