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While inflation decreases, farmers and shoppers still feel its effects


The latest inflation report shows the rising cost of goods is slowing, but the lasting effects from years of inflation are still impacting farmers and shoppers.

The inflation report released Wednesday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows grocery prices remained relatively the same from April to May after prices fell about 0.2% from March to April. Over the past year, grocery prices have risen only 1%, according to the inflation report, but food is still 20% more expensive than it was in 2022.

The Columbia Farmers Market welcomes shoppers Wednesday afternoon for its summer mid-week market.

Mexico, Missouri, farmer Matthew Van Schyndler, of Hedge Holler Harvest, said he tries to keep prices low on eggs, meat and goat milk products that he sells, but inflation has affected his business.

"Inflation is real," Van Schyndler said. "I guarantee you, our processing alone has gone up by 15-20%.  Obviously I have to move along with it."

Van Schyndler has noticed more and more shoppers using government assistance as well.

"Last week was our largest number of senior WIC and SNAP tokens we've ever had at the market," Van Schyndler said.

The Farmers Market offers extra benefits for SNAP recipients through its Access to Healthy Food and Double Up Food Bucks programs. A person who qualifies for SNAP can receive up to $60 extra to put toward fresh fruits and vegetables, according to the Farmers Market website.

"Not just only feeding our community, but also putting that dollar back into our farmers' pockets," said Columbia Farmers Market Executive Director Corrina Smith.

A recently released report on children's economic well-being shows Boone County is experiencing lower levels of food insecurity.

The Missouri KIDS COUNT measures the poverty and health signals for children and families across the state. The newest report, released earlier this month, shows child poverty and food insecurity are both trending down in Boone County. This comes as inflation slows down in May, according to the consumer price index.

According to the KIDS COUNT, the number of children in families receiving SNAP benefits in Boone County decreased from 26.5% in 2018 to 24.7% in 2022.

In Missouri, a family has to live below the poverty line to qualify for SNAP. For a single person, that's a gross income of $19,578 a year. For a family of four, that's a gross income of $40,560 a year. The threshold is lower for people who are older than 60 years old or disabled. Qualifying Missourians can apply to the Department of Social Services online or through the mail.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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