Sta­ple foods sought

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By BY LAURA MCLEAY

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.’’

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