EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — With inflation near a 40-year high, the cost of almost everything keeps going up.

When it comes to food, those who can least afford it are getting hit the hardest.

Food prices have risen 13.5% since august 2021. That is the largest yearly increase since 1979.

New data suggests rises in grocery prices are disproportionately impacting low-income people.

Leo Feler, Chief Economist at Aumerator, says “You can go from a Whole Foods to a Walmart, from a Walmart to a Dollar General. Once you’re a low-income consumer, you are already at the cheapest place where you can possibly buy food. And that just means that these stores have more pricing power.”

For meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, discounters are raising prices at a higher rate compared to many other grocers.

Feler says it’s because consumers won’t shift away due to higher prices, because they know it will be hard to find something cheaper somewhere else.

“You can’t, you know, raise prices if people are going to shift away from you, except at a Dollar General or Aldis, people aren’t shifting away. More people are still coming to these stores, despite the higher prices.”

Still, discounters are cheaper than most other supermarkets that can only jack up prices so high. It’s the reason consumer Chris Sherman can no longer shop in bulk.

“That’s what they do. They raise the prices. They’re just doing what they’re told. Then people like us go into the store to get whatever we need and we’re sticker shocked. We are totally sticker shocked.” … “I have to buy them every month when I used to buy them every three months. I would load up on them. Not no more. You can’t. It costs too much.”

An issue continuing to impact communities right here in NEPA.