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Page added on August 30, 2008

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Rising food bills connected to gas prices

Shipping fees change families’ eating habits.

HAINES, ALASKA – Haines shoppers are taking a double hit as the cost of food rises along with Alaska shipping charges because of higher fuel prices.

“When you buy a gallon of milk, $2 is freight just to get it here from Seattle,” said local grocer Doug Olerud, who sells a gallon of milk at $5.85.

The fuel surcharge on goods shipped by Alaska Marine Lines has jumped from 16.5 percent in April 2007 to 30 percent in June. Added to that is the higher cost of groceries, estimated at 8.5 percent during the past year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Those numbers are affecting families like the Hansens. Valina, who has seven children ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years, said her family has had to stop buying new clothing as their food bill rises. Hansen said her food bill has gone from $760 in June 2006 to $1,172 in June 2008.

Alaska Daily News

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