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Grocery Inflation

By Perry Balsamo, Staff Writer

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for food away from home rose by 4.5 percent over the past year.

This surge in grocery prices is driven by a combination of factors, including supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and economic rebounds from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For students already dealing with tuition fees, housing costs, and other expenses, the impact of rising grocery prices is particularly significant. 

“I usually shop at Trader Joe’s, Target or Stop & Shop because it’s close to the school,” freshman health science major Josh Roos said. “I usually go once every other week and spend around $50 each time on protein shakes, bananas, granola bars, yogurt and apples.”

Photo Credit: CBS News

Roos compared the prices of groceries on Long Island to his hometown, Danbury Conn. 

“It’s more expensive here than it is back at home. Definitely on Long Island, it’s more expensive,” he explained.

A way to cancel out the high cost of groceries would be to get a part-time job. 

However, Roos being a student-athlete gave his insight into that solution.  

 “Not everyone has the ability to get a part-time job,” he said. “I am pretty broke, being a college student, especially a college athlete, but my parents do help me out with some money because I’m on a scholarship. But if they didn’t help me out I’d probably just be eating at the dining hall every single day.” 

The effects of grocery inflation are not only felt by students financially but also in their dietary habits as well. 

“Ideally Winnick (Dining Hall) isn’t the best to eat every day. It’s definitely gotten better, don’t get me wrong, but what other choice do I have?” freshman Ryan Bailor from Jim Thorpe, Pa. stated.  

Students choose to sacrifice buying different meal options every once in a while only because Winnick Dining Hall is the cheaper option. 

“I shop at Stop & Shop and Target mostly,” Bailor said. “I occasionally notice a price jump in some of the groceries I buy. Which are usually just some snacks and paper products, but I haven’t noticed a huge difference in price. Shopping is still more expensive than back in Pennsylvania though.” 

The university is continuing to adapt and provide alternative healthy options for students. 

With the recent additions of smoothie machines in both the Hillwood Cafe and Winnick Dining Hall, students are able to blend their own smoothies with frozen fruit, yogurt and whatever else they choose. 

“I would like to see LIU continue to add stuff like the smoothie machines, and to hopefully help students find a way to help with the cost of groceries,” Bailor said. 

College students are continuously looking for ways to afford today’s grocery prices. And while the prices may continue to rise in the future, students are turning to the university to see if there is something that can be done to help. 

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