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Supply and Demand Goes Hungry in NM

April 23, 2008

Albuquerque, NM - Grocery bills are taking a bite out of breakfast, lunch and dinner for New Mexicans. Rising food prices are a trend across the state, and the rest of the world, with the biggest price spikes shooting up in recent months.

Laurel Wyckoff with the New Mexico Association of Food Banks says the situation is bringing more people than ever to the doors of their local food banks. The problem is, they're feeling the squeeze, too.

"When I first started doing this, around 2004, spaghetti or macaroni was about $10,000 a truckload. Now, pasta is running $27,000 a truckload."

Ashley White with the Children's Defense Fund says Congress can help address the problem by making long-overdue increases to the food stamp program, like adjusting it for inflation.

"It's just shameful that in this richest nation there is 12.6 million children living in households struggling against hunger in this past year."

Wyckoff points out that many people don't realize Food Stamp allotments are not adjusted for the increased prices. This sends more low-income and working families to food pantries sooner every month, further depleting the organizations' food supplies. She also has begun to see more families in which the adults work full-time, which she says used to be unheard of.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM