Gas and food prices affect rural communities

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

MAYNARD, AR (KAIT)- If you've been grocery shopping you've probably noticed, the cost has gone up. As gasoline continues to rise, so is our food budget, and rural communities are feeling the strain more than most.

"Being able to survive is hurting these people now," said Don Sikes, who is the Mayor in the town of Maynard. He says when gas prices go up, it puts a strain on people in the community.

"If they get higher or even sustain the price they are now, it effects all house-hold budgets immensely," said Sikes.

Sikes says especially in a rural community where a large number of people are living in a low-to-moderate income level. Many have to drive several miles just to get to work everyday.

"They don't get anything but minimum wage. It's going to cost 4 to 5 dollars a day just to get to work and back. So if you take that out of their pay check five days a week, it's going to hurt," said resident Sharon Ray.

But it's not only a gallon-of-gas that's gone up, but even a gallon-of-milk and other groceries. Milking more money from already tight budgets. A report from MSNBC, found food prices rose 4-percent last month, the biggest jump in the 36 years.

"It just really hard to make ends met. it really is. It's not just at the pumps but everything," said resident Renee Bliss. She says it's something she's already feeling the pressure from. "I have a budget because I'm a stay-at-home mom and my husband is the only bread winner. It's just outrageous every week I go 25 cents is added onto a box a crackers that were a dollar six months ago," said Bliss.

And if the gas prices continue to go up, Sikes says it could be detrimental. "It is going to be a hard,sharp affect on the population of this community," said Sikes.

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