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Seniors feel strain as food prices soar

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By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

The rising cost of food is affecting senior citizens living on a fixed income, where every dollar counts.

On Monday, the State Capitol hosted Senior Day. It was a chance for senior citizens to talk to lawmakers about important issues. Although many smiled for a group picture, they were issues there didn't find amusing.

"Seniors have a hard time paying their utility bills, and their prescriptions," said Clair Dowers, of the Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division. "They normally had a little bit of issue paying for food, but now that's really thrown in the mix big time."

Mike McComber, a concerned senior, said many searched out free meals because they can't afford to buy groceries.

"We're seeing a lot of people being fed by the Salvation Army every day," said McComber.
Nick Massey, an Edmond financial advisor, said there are three main reasons for the price increase. He attributes the growing strain on rising energy costs, competition for grain used to make alternative fuels like ethanol and a global demand.

"It's this constant snowballing affect that's affecting the food prices," said Massey.

In Oklahoma, the cost of milk jumped 90 cents in the last six months. The price of bread also increased from $1.33 to $1.89.

The price of oil has also risen in the past months, reaching record highs.

The United Nations said the global food crisis has reached emergency proportions. The secretary-general has called for immediate help to avoid more violence and starvation.

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