The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

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Signpost Cartoon, c. Rudi Klimpert

Increased food and gas prices impact local families

Jana and Bob, both Native Americans, have three young children ages four months to seven years old. Also living with them are Jana’s disabled mother and her siblings, ages sixteen and ten. Bob currently works two jobs, and is looking for a third to support the household of ten. Jana watches her children and her siblings. Jana and Bob regularly visit Roadrunner Food Bank’s partner agency, the Albuquerque Indian Center which Jana says “has provided many resources such as food and hygiene boxes that help our family out a great deal. We rely on the monthly food commodities. The price of gas has skyrocketed and has affected our family. It is necessary for us to be cautious on extra spending and travel.”

Jana and her family are not alone. Charlotte Abeyta, the office manager of the Alamo Navajo Community School, says that her family doesn’t buy the same foods as in the past and they go shopping less often. The increase in gas and food prices is also affecting their food budget. The problem for Charlotte and the families in Alamo is that their nearest food and gas stores are thirty miles away in Magdalena. Their nearest supermarket is sixty miles away in Socorro.

Many working families, young and old, urban and rural, are experiencing serious hardships. They have no wiggle room in their budgets for increased gas and food prices. They search the supermarket aisles for bargains and cheap food. Fresh produce and meat are luxuries. Steve Mills, project director at the Alamo Navajo School, says families in their community are making decision on price versus quality. Many are feeling hopeless, because the only food they can afford is junk food. Marissa Ramos at the Albuquerque Indian Center says they see a lot of parents like Jana and Bob who are working two jobs just to keep a roof over their children’s heads and still come regularly for food boxes.

Roadrunner Food Bank and partner agencies are also experiencing the increase in gas prices. Run by volunteers, our agencies find themselves in the same situation as their clients. They can’t afford the gas to pick up the food from us. As a result, they are distributing less food less often. Recently, two agencies closed because they couldn’t afford to keep distributing food.

Roadrunner Food Bank’s gasoline bill exceeds $5,000 monthly for our five trucks to pick up and deliver food. Yet thanks to you, along with our generous community, we can continue collecting, purchasing and distributing fifty thousand pounds of food every day. Thanks to your help, we make sure Jana, Bob and others like them have enough food for their children. Next time you search your supermarket for food bargains, keep Jana, Bob, Charlotte and thousands of New Mexican families in mind.

 

 

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