High gas prices equals High food prices - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

High gas prices equals High food prices

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April 2, 2008

Albany -- As prices continue to soar at the pumps, high fuel costs are taking a huge hit on virtually every sector of the food industry.

"I pretty much put $20.00 in gas a day, and by the time I get off, it's gone," says Demetri Harrold.

For the past 3 years he has delivered pizzas for Papa John's. But with gas now well over $3.00 a gallon, relying largely on tips for gas money has proven difficult.

"With gas prices going up, your pay rate pretty much stays the same. Papa John's is a great job, but you know, it's hard," he says.

But from delivery to dining in, restaurants like Harvest Moon in Albany are feeling the crunch as well from vendors going up on their prices.

"Oh definitely. One of our vendors now, every time they stop, it's a $7.00 delivery fuel charge. And all of them, of course, had to start doing that along with going up on prices for the product," said Harvest Moon owner Bo Henry. He hasn't had to go up on his menu prices just yet, but it could be the next step he has take.

"It's inevitable, as the fuel prices go up, we have to go up. Eventually, that will be passed down to the consumer and that's just the chain of reaction of how it goes," he says.

And for many consumers, high gas prices equals less money now spent on dining out.

"With the price of gas being so high, its hard to budget your money. It's a lot easier to go to the grocery store and buy what I need there instead of going out to eat, because it's high to go out to eat with a family," says Melanie Tomlinson.

And with some analysts predicting gas prices to go even higher, what once seemed practical may yet become even more expensive.

To make matters worse, with many of the nation's independent truckers on strike, just getting food at the grocery store could mean a shortage on food supply and overcrowding in the food aisles.

The Department of Agriculture predicts food prices will rise another four-to-five-percent this year.

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