Milk Prices on the Rise - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/02/04

Milk Prices on the Rise

The price at the pump is getting all the attention, but there's something else going through the roof. Like the price of fuel kids and adults need for strong bones. If you've bought milk in the past week, you have probably noticed. People are paying anywhere from $3 a gallon to $3.70 a gallon, a lot higher than what many people are used to. It's all thanks to a decrease in production and an increase in supply, giving the term milk money a whole new meaning.

Twenty-four glasses of milk are poured two to three times a day at Westside Academy. "We are mandated here to serve a certain amount of milk," explained the school's Hazel Smith. "We have to buy 15 to 16 gallons a week."

And while milk does a body good, with rising prices it's not good on the budget here at the academy. "I never thought that would happen, not here in America," said Smith.

Milk used to cost about $2.50, and now, Hazel told us, "I understand it's about $3.33 I pay."

Which adds up. Because, if you think about it, milk isn't just used as a drink. "I use milk every day to cook, every meal," said Aurelia Mitchell, Westside Academy's cook.

And we're talking about home cooked and nutritious food. "Pancakes, homemade biscuits, grits, a lot of cheese butter and milk," Mitchell said.

Which brings up another point. Cheese, butter, ice cream and yogurt prices are also on the rise. "It's going to hurt your wallet, so you have to cry ouch and buy it," said Mitchell.

With less milk being produced and an increased demand, economists say the prices could continue to rise through the rest of the year. So kids really need to mind their manners. "You don't need to be spilling it with prices like it's going up now," said Mitchell.

Just to give you an example of how much the dairy production has gone down. There are 339 dairy farms in Georgia right now. That's 21 fewer than last year. So we may need to brace ourselves for a little longer on these prices.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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