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How inflation is impacting food nonprofits and restaurants in Massachusetts

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(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Regular gas is posted at $4.199 a gall at a station Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Shoreline, Wash.

WBUR, December 2021

For Phil Frattaroli, it’s all about the longview. His family runs the Filmark Hospitality Group, which owns restaurants in the North End and East Boston. Since the start of the pandemic, but especially now, they’ve seen prices of food, spirits, and supplies increase. “It’s really like we try to look at it in six-month windows, particularly where we have … those hard costs related to menu production,” said Frattaroli. Prices have increased so much some items are limited or completely removed from their menus. “A lot of that is just some stuff that we have to absorb,” Frattaroli said. “And sometimes those things go back to normal, and sometimes it’s just like a spike based on what’s going on in the world.” And Frattaroli isn’t alone.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation rose 5.3% in Greater Boston over the last year. Most of the increase is on goods like food and gas, with energy prices increasing by over 30%. All of this means more pressure on an economy already strained by worker shortages and supply chain woes.

“Increases in gas and fuel prices affect not only consumers who drive their cars, but also businesses who rely on transportation and pay transportation costs that include fuel and gasoline,” said Alan Clayton-Matthews, an economics professor at Northeastern University.

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