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Why plunging gas prices won’t mean lower prices at the grocery store

Posted at 9:56 PM, Dec 16, 2014

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Bad weather in Mexico and California, and a rising truck driver shortage mean food prices will not go down this holiday season despite plunging gas prices, according to Tom Leonard who owns Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market in Short Pump.

“We’re not seeing any relief, that’s for sure,” Leonard said.

In fact, the American Trucking Associations said the industry is short thousands of drivers as older drivers retire, and others opt for a job that doesn’t keep them on the road all the time.

“There’s a shortage of drivers who want to drive produce from California to Virginia or Maryland, so it causes the prices to stay up there for people who are doing it,” Leonard said.

Tom Leonard

Tom Leonard

“You don’t have a home life anymore. It’s in that truck -- [a] 70-hour work week,” said Greg Foreman, who stopped at the truck stop off Lewistown Road.

Single parent Cindy Edmunds spent part of her Tuesday night looking for deals at Tom Leonard’s.

She said the lower gas prices have a been a huge boost for her budget.

“It means a lot,” Edmunds said.

gasprices

But, she said the extremely high price of beef, means her family probably won’t get to enjoy the filet mignon or prime rib they typically have on Christmas.

“I have a certain food budget, and I need to stick with that,” Edmunds.

groceries

Leonard said beef prices went up because there’s a shortage of cows, but he’s trying to offer customers the best deals possible.

He said cows are being shipped out of the country, and corn prices are high so people aren’t raising cows as much.

“The price of beef is higher than I’ve ever seen in my entire career right now,” Leonard said.