Food prices force consumers to get help - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Food prices force consumers to get help

March 6, 2008

Thomasville-- From the housing market, to the job market evidence our nation is experiencing an economic downturn is clear.   Some financial experts even say a recession is on its way.  Now gas and food prices are up and here in southwest Georgia its taking a toll on consumers.

People in Thomasville will tell you, they've seen better days.  "Its rough out here, like I say its high, and there ain't no jobs around here," says Jeff Johnson, a client at the Thomas County Food Bank.

With gas prices well over $3 a gallon, transportation costs go up, ultimately raising food prices. "I've noticed the prices have gotten outrageous on the meat and everything," says Johnson.  Wilma Cashman, a volunteer at the food bank adds, "The cost of milk and the cost of bread are two big issues.  Because if you've got a family, and you're paying $4.50 for a gallon of milk, and $2.00 for a loaf of bread, you don't get much for you're money."

Families in Thomas County are relying on the food bank more and more to help meet their needs. "We feel like its brought more clients than we have had. We're having new ones coming in, were having ones come in that haven't been here in 3,4, 5 years," says Mandy Hall, the volunteer coordinator.

The food bank is serving a minimum of 200 families a week. In the past, typically they'd see only 3 or 4 new families a week.  "Now we're seeing, at least 10 a week, new families," says Cashman.   If that trend keeps up, what happens if they have 15, 20, or 25 new families coming every week? "Thats hard to say. As long as donations come in, we can buy what we need right at this point," Hall explains.  "The food bank helping us out.  Making it much easier," says Johnson. 

"We depend on the community. Our biggest contributions come from individuals, and we really depend on that," says Cashman. But with everyone facing the same economic hardship, volunteers say they could see a reduction in their contributions.

Experts say the country won't actually be in a recession until we have two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the nation's gross domestic product.

 

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