For residents in Labrador, outrageous grocery prices are the norm.
Labradorians are facing a significant issue impacting their daily lives – the high cost of groceries.
“Only 10 per cent of fresh vegetables (that) are available through major wholesalers is produced in the province, meaning that 90 per cent of fresh vegetables are imported,” a 2010 report by the Department of Natural Resources, Forestry and Agrifoods Agency suggests.
In Rigolet, Labrador, grocery prices include $6.99 for a 500-gram tub of Kraft peanut butter, $5.49 for a 475 millilitre bottle of Miracle Whip and $4.29 for one litre of milk, just to name a few.
“It wasn’t very strange to see a frozen chicken for $17 – $18 per chicken, and it wasn’t strange to see a bag of potatoes for $12 for five pounds, bread was $5.99, and milk was $6.15,” said Tom Mugford, a former resident from Rigolet, Labrador, who recently moved to St. John’s.
Residents in Rigolet cannot buy freshly cut meat. Everything that is shipped to the community is frozen.
“There was no fresh food as you can imagine in a small rural community,” Mugford said. “Everything came in frozen, so there was no buying fresh meat.”
A grocery shopper’s dollar does not go as far once someone moves from the island to Labrador.
“When I was in St. John’s, (when) I spent about $200 I got a carton and half of groceries, but here (Makkovik) if I spent $200 I would get four or five bags of groceries depending on how much meat I get,” said April Groves-Rideout, who is currently living in Makkovik.
In Cartwright, Labrador grocery prices include $8.29 for Reese Puffs cereal, $9.49 for Mini-Wheats cereal, $10 for Kraft Pizza kits, $8 for an 80-pack of Bounce sheets, $36.29 for 90 Tide Pods and $26.99 for a 930-gram tub of Tim Hortons coffee.
Residents of Labrador can only hope that the grocery prices will be lower in the future.