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Recession has some Botetourt families standing in line looking for help

Anita Firebaugh

Warmer weather means expenditures are down in the household budget,

Not necessarily.

Mary Lou Mullis, director of Botetourt Social Services, said folks
are standing in line at her office in Fincastle because they are
having trouble paying for food, gasoline and electricity.

“This recession hasn’t been in operation that long and
people are really feeling it,” Mullis said. “People are
having a difficult time.”

New faces are showing up at the office seeking assistance with
higher light bills and food prices. “We’re going to
start getting people moving in from urban areas and other states
that are in dire need,” she predicted. She believes more
people will be doubling up in houses as relatives combine
households because folks are having a hard time making ends meet.

“Maybe they think it will be less expensive to live here than
the city,” she said. “But you’re not going to
beat the gas prices.”

She also fears many people will endanger their health because they
will stop eating nutritious food. Buying hamburger with more fat
might be cheaper on the budget, but it is harder on the arteries.
“There is a price to pay for that, too, for trying to
economize on many items,” Mullis said.

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