Inflation Affecting Oklahomans

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 9:40 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Inflation has impacted families across the United States. Like other cities, local families in our own community are experiencing the same struggles, like not being able to afford their everyday needs.

As gas prices, groceries, utilities and rent reach record levels, not seen in years.

Local families have found themselves picking up extra jobs, and cutting spending in different areas of their everyday lives.

Lawton resident Allison Wogerman, a Lyft driver, enjoys serving her community, but affording gas is hindering her.

“I know other people are hurting worse than what some of us are. I’m having to pick up other jobs to make it. I know that gas prices aren’t going to get any better any time soon, and this inflation with the groceries and just everyday living, it’s just, it’s hurting all of us,” Wogerman said.

Some families even said they’re skipping out on paying certain bills, just to feed their families.

Executive Director of the Lawton Food Bank, Mac Lechel, said their services for local clients have increased since last year.

“It’s been very apparent how hard that this inflation has hit our neighborhood. We’ve seen 700 plus families a month. Whereas, typically, last year we were seeing around 500 or 600, like during the holidays. So just right out the gate, we’re already seeing 200 more families than we were last year,” Lechel said.

Tim Allen, Oklahoma’s Deputy Treasurer for Communications & Program Administration, said the most recent price index report from the Bureau of Labor statistics shows the food index is up by 9%.

That’s the largest 12-month increase they’ve seen since April of 1981.

“The bottom line is that inflation is taking its toll on Oklahoma families right now. It’s happening, we are all feeling it. From filling up our cars at the gas station, to when we go to the grocery stores, to when we occasionally go out and eat; our money just isn’t going as far as it used to,” Allen said.

Allen also said a recent survey of managers who worked in business supply manufacturing showed no sign of inflation improving anytime soon.

“They are expecting prices for supplies and raw materials to rise at an even faster pace than they have been in the next 6 months. So, most of those that were surveyed expect the economy to get worse in the upcoming months,” Allen said.

He went on to say that inflation is a topic that’s discussed everyday, and they are working to help Oklahoma families.

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