The Impact of Snow Days on Grocery Bills

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Winter weather can make it tough on families' budgets.

"One day at a time, one step at a time. You're doing it from paycheck to paycheck, and it's really hard," said Amy Browning, who has four kids in school and hopes Wednesday won't be another snow day, "Our grocery bill ranges anywhere around $200 a week, but when they're home it goes up to $250, $300 a week."

Amy is not alone. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank reports numbers of families needing help higher than they expected this winter.

"Every day counts, every dollar counts. So if your children are eating at school for breakfast or maybe lunch, and they miss two or three days due to snow, then that makes a real difference," said Michael McKee, the CEO of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

That fact is something school systems recognize, especially in Waynesboro, where 62 percent of kids get free or reduced price lunches.

"We try really hard to make sure none of our students will go hungry. I think that's so important. Now, when they go home," said Tamera Coffey, the nutrition manager for Waynesboro schools.

Waynesboro schools still having breakfast on two-hour delays and send to-go lunches when schools let out early, but as the days without school begin to pile up.

"Other bills aren't getting paid, because we have to feed our kids. Our kids can't go hungry. So what do you do? You let a bill go to feed your family," said Browning.

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank CEO Michael McKee said 4 out of every 10 people they serve are children.


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