TODAY

TODAY   |  March 25, 2014

Food prices make a big jump in 2014

Food costs more, according to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which says prices are up 0.4 percent in the first month of this year. It’s the largest increase since September 2011. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>>> we are back now with some tough news for many families. food prices are on the rise. and as kerry sanders explains, there seems to be no end in sight.

>> reporter: the cost of feeding your family is up and still climbing.

>> for the last month, prices have been too high. very high.

>> reporter: from produce to meat to dairy. consumers are paying more or getting less. a new report by the bureau of labor statistics says food prices are up 0.4% in just the first month of this year. that's the biggest increase since september 2011 .

>> so how much more are you paying? say you want a burger. well, the cost of beef is up 5.4% this year over last. add bacon, pork is up 4%. add a slice of tomato, that's up 6.9%. french fries ? potatoes are up 9.2%. and if you have a child who wants a glass of milk, that's up 2.6%.

>> one more, right?

>> at restaurants, food prices and in turn menu prices are also going up.

>> you're going to see it at the market, when you go out to dinner. going to affect all of us greatly.

>> why the increase? economists blame the severe drought in parts of the country, mainly california and texas.

>> we've got to have some rain or this country's going to look like a desert.

>> but so far, that needed rain is absent. and farmers, like ronnie wilson are suffering.

>> i don't know if it will recover. i don't have a clue.

>> cattle ranchers say the drought also means animal feed costs more.

>> what i'm hearing from fellow ranchers is panic. it's concern.

>> reporter: beef lovers, a cattleman's pain is your pain.

>> it means that you're going to be probably paying more for that steak when you go to the supermarket, more for that hamburger when you go to the drive-in.

>> this time of year, california's like the nation's farmer's market. but with 95% of that state in a drought, for consumers, it's bad news wherever you shop.

>> i'll have to pay what i pay at the grocery store.

>> drought or no drought.

>> drought or no drought.

>> nbc news, miami.