Rising food prices won’t stop American Thanksgiving tradition in Canada’s south
Meals are sold out ahead of Cottam United Church hosting its 75th annual American Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner on Thursday.
More than 1,200 orders were filled days before Thanksgiving, as volunteers began prepping on Wednesday.
“We get fresh, so they’re not frozen, so we pay a little more,” event committee chairperson, Rick Mayea says. “But at the end of the day it makes for a much, much better meal.”
Mayea says food prices have gone through the roof, explaining that buying local, community donations and finding sales made the cost of putting the event on possible.
“At the end of the day we have to cap the price no matter what the cost right?” Mayea says producing each plate cost about $8-$9 with tickets costing $20 each. “Because we have to make sure that we stay affordable as much as possible.”
Mayea notes all proceeds go towards long term beautification projects to install new benches in the community.
Meantime, some experts say Canadians are likely to see inflated food prices at their local grocery stores throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, told CTV News that food prices have risen by about five per cent across the board since January, with the exception of produce.
“We’re probably in the third inning of a nine inning baseball game right now,” Charlebois explains. “So, we’re still in the early part of the game.”
Charlebois says everyone has noticed price increases at the meat counter, where the cost of beef has risen by more than 50 per cent.
The price of poultry according to Charlebois, is now up by 16 per cent, as are eggs. Pork has become more expensive.
“Dairy is also increasing, it’s about 5 per cent, we’re expecting dairy to go up in price next year,” Charlebois says.
Even the freezer aisle has seen an increase according to Charlebois who credits higher retail prices to things like rising transportation, labour and grain costs.
“Anything that has to be transported is costing more whether it’s on water or on land.”
Charlebois says deals can still be found between the American Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, but consumers need to be prepared for lingering issues.
“There’s a lot to come still, so you have to brace yourself, be patient, and up your game if you’re looking for deals,” Charlebois says.
“You have to look a little bit harder and longer. You have to visit more grocery stores. You have to be disciplined. You have to get more information, use apps as much as possible. Use coupons! These are things you have to do right now, more so than ever.”