Rising egg prices are having an impact in places you might not expect


The rising cost of eggs is affecting more than just grocery stores. Childcare businesses and organizations who help people get nutritious food are also feeling the impact of this egg-flation.

Sarah Song is a family childcare provider in National City, and her husband cooks nutritious, homemade meals for about 10 to 12 children. She says they both got a real shock recently when he went shopping for eggs to feed their young clients.

“He said it was like $12. And I said, ‘$12?!’ So he said, ‘Okay, I’m not going to get them here, I’ll just stop at Ralphs on the way home.’ So then he went to Ralphs and they were the same price,” Song said.

You can blame the avian flu for the rising prices. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 60 million birds have died from the disease so far.

Fewer chickens means fewer eggs and higher prices — and that could mean changes for Song’s meal plan.

“If it’s not easily accessible and the costs are the same, we probably change it next month or the month after,” she said.

But change isn’t always easy when you’re cooking for children, Song said.

“It’s going to be even harder to pick which menu items to put out there and see if (the kids) are even going to like it because we know what they like, so it will be hard to switch some things up,” she said.

Song estimated that her business’ food costs have gone up by 25%. She said she may have to increase the tuition for her child care operation.

“We might have to make an adjustment because obviously the return from the government isn’t a lot,” she said. “And if the prices keep going up and up and up, there’s only so much leeway we can have with the expenses for it to be a healthy business model for us.”

Rising egg prices may mean some tough choices for families who get public assistance for their grocery shopping. In California, that program is known as CalFresh,

“Even with their CalFresh benefits, it’s just not enough,” said Victoria Medina, the CalFresh manager at Feeding San Diego. “A lot of families have expressed that they go to the grocery store and now they’re really doing a Plan A, Plan B, ‘What is it that we really need for my family? What can we just hold off?’”

Medina said Feeding San Diego already anticipates that more people will need their food assistance and more will apply for benefits from CalFresh as the price of food continues to rise.

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