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Broad Ripple urban farm feels impacts of inflation as food prices increase

Posted at 10:12 AM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 10:12:41-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Inflation is up 7% percent in the past year, the biggest jump in nearly 40 years.

Experts say it's partially because of the pandemic and increased demand.

“We are seeing levels of food prices that we haven’t seen in a couple of decades,” said Jayson Lusk, who leads the department of agricultural economics at Purdue University. “It means food is more expensive than it has been.”

Monon House Farms in Broad Ripple and its customers are seeing the impacts of inflation first-hand.

“The way that we have been able to make it is by being creative. We have to cut back in certain areas,” said Darren Bunton, the owner of Monon House Farms.

The urban farm has raised prices on products that aren't grown or made on-site, including eggs, which have gone from $3 to $4 a dozen.

“We have to prioritize whats important to us so that we can sustain first and foremost and continue to provide a service as well as a quality product to our customers,” Bunton said.

Bunton says the increase is the only way to keep up with rising prices from suppliers, but it impacts the farm's mission, to provide affordable local food to people in need. He says it was a hard decision.

“So we have to choose, are we going to increase the price of our eggs or increase the price of our flowers in the spring time,” Bunton said.

With the rise in inflation, Lusk says consumers are thinking of other ways to get their products, as grocery store prices rise.

“Some of the concerns that came about, the empty grocery stores shelves, emerged during parts of the pandemic which has a caused some consumers to think more about alternative markets and supplies of food from places they wouldn’t normally turn to,” Lusk said.

Lusk says there are some positive signs when it comes to food costs as meat prices went down from November to December.

Lusk added prices could continue to drop if the labor market can keep up with demand.

If you are interested in shopping at Monon House Farms, click here.