Apr 18, 2011 8:15 PM by Matt Stafford

Tight budgets creating a lot of stress for local families

With prices rising on basic necessities -- like fuel, food, and clothing -- budgets are getting tight for families across the country.

$100 dollars doesn't take Jan Piane as far as it did a year ago at the grocery store.

"I definitely see that I'm bringing home less for the same amount of money," says Piane, and she adds that the prices keep changing. "There's a strong difference between one week and the next."

Southern Colorado families are feeling the pinch. At Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs the need keeps going up.

"We're seeing people with food insecurity issues that we haven't traditionally seen," says Lynne Telford, Care and Share President and C.E.O. She says they are families who make too much for government help but are still in need.

"If we can give a family enough food to eat, maybe they'll have enough money to put gas in their car to get to work," says Telford.

Budget issues are problems people are dealing with everyday right now, and according to the Centers for Disease Control that's a problem. A new report shows a correlation between the economy and the suicide rate since 1928.

"Any kind of economic hit, the suicide rate goes up," says Barry Koch, who works with the Suicide Prevention Partnership of the Pikes Peak Region. He says it's especially true in El Paso County.

"The 2009 numbers here are off the charts," says Koch. "Which is immediately post the collapse of late '08." He says suicides spiked in 2009 to 172; more than one-hundred more than there were just three years before.

Koch says it's times like these that are the most important to reach out to others.

Piane is taking an active approach -- trying to save money to alleviate stress.

"If that particular item is on sale, that's what you cook that week," says Piane, talking about what she does to save. "Buy what's on sale and buy ahead if you can."

If you need food assistance, call 211 for help.

For help with suicidal thoughts, call 596-LIFE (5433), or click on this link.


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