The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported a 2.6% increase in food prices nationwide from March to April, marking the largest monthly increase in 46 years.
The greatest increases were recorded in the prices of meat, poultry, fish and eggs, with each food category recording a 4.3% increase from the previous month.
Within the meat category, prices for boneless pork chops were roughly 6% higher and hamburger and sirloin steak prices were up by 4%; prices on whole fresh chickens shot up by 12%.
These increases have been fueled by disruptions in the supply chain due to worker illnesses in processing plants – the United Food and Commercial Workers stated that at least 44 workers died of COVID-19 as of May 29.
Lesser price increases were recorded for dairy and related products and fruits and vegetables, with those categories recording a 1.5% rise from March to April.