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‘Higher Prices:’ Cost of July 4 cookout hits record high

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As families across America prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, they are facing stubbornly high prices at the grocery store.

According to a Farm Bureau survey, hosting an Independence Day cookout for 10 guests will cost $71.22 this year.

The grocery bill has spiked by 5% from last year and has soared by nearly 30% in just five years, according to the bureau.

Each guest at the cookout will bear a record high cost of $7.12, which is the highest since the survey’s initiation in 2013.

The increase in food prices is part of an overall spike in prices since President Joe Biden took office and inflation, fueled in part by debt spending, put Americans in a pinch.

“Higher prices at the grocery store reflect a number of challenges facing America’s families.” AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan said in a statement. “Lower availability of some cookout staples and inflation are hitting people in their wallets.”

Cryan highlighted that farmers, who must sell at market prices, are facing elevated fuel, fertilizer, and supply prices despite only receiving 15% of the retail food dollar.

In other words, American farmers receive a relatively small portion of return for the food products they sell, while bearing a heavy burden of rising costs.

“It’s crucial that as we celebrate the holiday we also urge members of Congress to return to Washington and pass a new, modernized five-year farm bill,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “We cannot afford more delays and short-term extensions.”

The survey revealed a double-digit increase in the cost of beef and lemonade compared to the previous year, while prices for chicken breasts and potato salad have seen a decrease.

Ground beef prices surged by 11% to $12.77 for 2 pounds, and lemonade costs spiked by 12% to $4.19. Factors such as drought conditions and citrus greening have contributed to these price hikes, reflecting the challenges farmers confront regularly, according to the Farm Bureau.

The survey identified two exceptions to the overall price increases.

Chicken prices are down by 4% from last year, priced at $7.83 for 2 pounds, and potato salad is 4% cheaper at $3.32. The bureau says that stability in chicken supplies and favorable potato crop conditions have led to these declines in prices.

While Americans celebrate the country’s birth, the economic strain on both families and farmers persists, underscoring the broader impact of inflation on everyday expenditures.

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