CINCINNATI — US gas prices continue to surge at a record pace. The national average now stands at $3.84 a gallon, the highest its been since September 2012. The average price per gallon this time last year was $2.75 a gallon. At this rate, experts say it will not be long before the national average is at $4.
The rise in gas prices and inflation on other items like groceries has families concerned and making tough choices daily on where they are spending their money.
“I think, Oh my gosh, when is it going to stop,” said Shannon Crutchfield, a single mother, entrepreneur and Realtor.
Crutchfield has been watching the price at the pump as it climbs almost daily. Her job as a realtor keeps her behind the wheel most of the day driving all across Greater Cincinnati. She says if the price at the pump keeps rising along with inflation it will force her and her family to make some cuts at home.
“Even if it’s just to get them to and from school and me to work, definitely there are some times where its like ‘yah we’re not eating out two times this week, we’ll be at the grocery store,” she said.
And even at the grocery store, the cost of necessary items are at an all time high.
“I’m not sure how much longer we can as a country continue to endure these prices and these pinches when there is not an increase of wages to match it,” said Crutchfield.
Crutchfield, while she’s been able to manage is not alone in her concern with soaring costs. Many mothers are also feeling the pinch.
Jennie Brown, a community engagement specialist with community support group Cradle Cincinnati, says mothers of all socio-economic levels are having a hard time financially. Brown says calls for resources have gone up tremendously since the start of the pandemic and have increased as inflation continues.
“With the inflation going up, some of the food prices are going up and the benefits are not going up,” said Brown. “So sometimes you have moms that may have 20 dollars and have to decide, Should I get twenty dollars worth of gas or twenty dollars worth of food.”
Brown says finding those resources has been a struggle not just for the mothers looking for help, but even for the organization who relies on donors in the community.
“Car seats, resources for cribs and more, those resources are depleted in the community,” said Brown. “So Cradle Cincinnati, we’re supplying a lot of those resources ourselves.”
Along with reducing the infant mortality rate, Cradle Cincinnati aims to make sure mothers are having stress free pregnancies. Brown says rising costs can add stress to a family.
“Moms are stressed about trying to find money for deposits for housing, looking for housing. They are stressed about food and supplying food for their families so we come in and try to give them a resource so they can focus more on their pregnancy,” said Brown.