Hello from River Hebert
This week I would like to start our column by asking this question. Have you ever gone to the grocery store with a limited amount of money to purchase your weekly groceries, only to find that the same items you purchased last week has gone up so much in price that you can't afford them this week?
If you answered yes to this question than you will relate to the story that I am about to tell you. Just this past weekend a friend of mind went to do her weekly grocery shopping and, like a lot of us, had only a certain amount of money to spend. As she was walking through the store, she noticed how some of the items she had purchased the week before had gone up in price. So, she reexamined what was in her cart and hoped she could make her grocery money stretch. As she entered the cereal aisle she couldn't help but notice an older lady there. This woman looked upset and it didn't take long for a conversation to strike up between the two women. The older lady was upset because the cereal she had purchased the week before had gone up so much in price that she just couldn't afford to buy it this week. She told my friend that she didn't know how people on pensions were supposed to eat. All day my friend couldn't stop thinking about the woman in the grocery store and how right she is. Here is a woman who worked hard all her life and is now at the age where she should be enjoying her "golden years." But there she was standing in the middle of the grocery store wondering how she was going to survive until her cheque arrives at the end of the month. And, like my friend said, chances are you will find her in the same predicament next month.
It doesn't seem like that long ago when a week's worth of groceries meant just that - a week's worth of groceries. Now it means that, for the same amount of money, you don't need a cart because you can carry it out in both hands and, don't forget, you will have to make at least two trips back to the store for bread and milk before the week is up.
So where does that leave us, the people who are having a hard time to make ends meet now? It leaves us like that lady in the store, "doing without." So, does this mean the health of our children and ourselves goes down the tubes because the big companies want more and they don't care how they get it? Yes, yes it does. Every time I watch the news and hear that the oranges have been affected by the weather or the crops are rotting in the ground because of rain, I know what it means for our family and many more like ours. It means say goodbye to fresh vegetables and fruit. They say that today's students are not supposed to bring junk food to school. They want them to eat healthy foods. But there is one thing they are forgetting. Where is the money coming from to buy all this healthy food? A bag of apples or oranges are anywhere between $5-7, depending on where you buy them. And a bottle of pop is cheaper than juice.
So many parents have to walk past those healthy items and go to that so-called junk food because it is the only means they have of making their grocery dollar stretch.
I know to some people this sounds weird because they can walk into a store and not have to worry about prices. But what if those same people were given $100 and told they had to buy a week's worth of groceries for a family of four. Oh, and don't forget school lunch and diapers. Would it sound weird after that? No I think they just might get a better understanding of what these people are up against. But that's my two cents for what it is worth.
Get well wishes are sent to Riley Berry.
We hope you are feeling better soon and can't wait to see your smiling face.
Love Aunt Patsy, Uncle Jimmy and family, Glenda, Norman and family