Families feeling sting of inflation as prices for gas, groceries soar

CHARLOTTE — If it feels like you are paying more for everything, it’s because you are.

From rent to groceries, data show inflation across the country is now at the highest level in 40 years. And neighbors in our community are feeling the effects.

Channel 9′s Glenn Counts spoke with local families about how inflation is impacting them.

“I thought things were getting better -- all of a sudden, things started getting slow again,” Billy Tran said.

Tran owns the Giant Penny, a local grocery store. He said that after a brief improvement in the supply chain, the headaches have returned.

“I give you the ballpark -- 20% to 25%. Some of the items we don’t have. It’s just crazy,” Tran said.

Experts said that supply chain issues are feeding inflation. Grocery prices are up. For example, meat is up 12.5% and fruits and vegetables have increased 5%.

Energy costs have shot up 41% for fuel oil and 49% for gasoline. If you need to purchase a car, a used one will cost you 37% more and the cost of housing has increased by 4%.

Duane Austin has to buy gas to get to work.

“It really stings. It cuts into my food. To how I live. It’s really getting to be a problem,” Austin said.

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said the rise in food costs has forced her to turn to food pantry Loaves and Fishes.

“How tough is it to put food on the table? It’s devastating. Right now times is so hard to feed my kids,” the woman said.

Sue Bruce is the Marketing Director for Loaves and Fishes.

“We’ve definitely noticed an uptick in the numbers that we’re seeing,” Bruce said. “January there is usually a lull in the numbers that we see coming to be fed, but there has been no lull this January. The phones are ringing off the hook.”

The high inflation rate means that every dollar donated to Loaves and Fishes and other food pantries does not go as far as it used to. So, if you are in the spirit of giving, now would be a great time.

(WATCH BELOW: US inflation soared 7% in past year, the most since 1982)