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Local restaurant and food bank in downtown Little Rock, impacted by increase in food prices



Little Rock, Arkansas — Local restaurants and the Arkansas Foodbank are trying to find new ways to navigate their operations, as the price of food continues to go up.

The price of food at grocery stores is expected to increase from 3% to 4%, and food prices at restaurants are expected to increase from 5.5% to 6.5% this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to the owner at Malibu Cafe in downtown Little Rock, Rodrigo Zavala, the price he’s had to pay for food has increased significantly. “Meats are very high,” said Zavala. “Eggs used to be like $25 a case but now they’re $60 dollars a case.”

According to Zavala, his main goal has been to keep the business running and to keep his customers happy. “I don’t want to raise my prices because I love my people,” said Zavala. “I’m thinking that if I raise my prices, then people won’t want to come because they have family and kids at home.”

Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank, said prices for them are going up, too. “A truck load of vegetables — canned vegetables — that would have cost us $30,000 is costing us $40,000 to $45,000,” said Sanders. “We are also having trouble finding food because a lot of manufacturers are not making as much.”

The food bank is seeing a higher demand for their services across the state in the 320 local food pantries they help. “You take clients and people facing hunger who have limited budgets, they’re going to the same grocery stores as we are,” said Sanders. “It’s almost one of those critical situations where everything is coming together to make a perfect storm.”