Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) — Fall festivities aren’t immune to inflation.
Like most other products and services, the price to pick a pumpkin has gone up.
Russ Nakata is the owner of Planet Pumpkin in northeast Fresno and says even he experienced sticker shock when he picked up his pumpkins from local farmers.
“I mean we knew it was going to be more,” he said. “I think to some extent, it was a little bit of a shock. Everything went up. Everything ag-related went up.”
He says he tried not to pass too much of the cost down to customers. He raised prices by 5 cents per pound
This year, Nakata noticed more of a need in the community too.
He donated hundreds of additional pumpkins donated to hospitals, school districts and Fresno residents
“It’s over 8,000 to 9,000 pounds, so we saw this year that charitable requests were up by at least 25 percent,” he said.
At Central California Food Bank, higher prices at the store mean more people are in need of services.
“Especially our elderly and disabled neighbors living on fixed incomes,” says Co-CEO Kym Dildine. “There just isn’t enough money to go around.”
Last month, the food bank served 300,000 families. This month, it was about 10,000 more.
They expect to see even more demand as thanksgiving approaches.
The food bank is also impacted by inflation in its own budget, struggling to stretch funds to provide thanksgiving dinners for 15,000 families.
Ryan Jacobsen with the Fresno County Farm Bureau says not only will food be more expensive — in some cases, expect less to pick from.
“Overall, the star of the plate is the turkey,” he said. “There’s a lot of discussion about nationwide shortages. I’m encouraging folks to really pay attention. Frozen birds, get them earlier than later. If you’re looking for fresh, don’t wait until that Wednesday before.”
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