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The high gas price impact on families

Choosing between the job or groceries
Posted at 2:21 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 23:15:47-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Like many commuters, local moms are paying higher prices to fill their tanks per week. Some local moms NBC 26 spoke with spend as high as $65, $150, or even $160 a week.

NBC 26 interviewed three different moms from three different parts of Northeast Wisconsin, with one very similar story - the rising prices at the pump and the fear of this ultimatum: do I have to choose between feeding my family or coming to work?

Sarah Ballard commutes from Berlin to Ashwaubenon every day for her job at STL Staffing. Gas has gotten so pricey, she's worried she might have to give up her job.

"I love this job," Ballard said. "I built a career around this, and this is what I want to do. But there's a fear that I might not be able to do that."

"You think about do I have to have an odd conversation or awkward conversation with my employer and say, 'Here's the situation: I love my job, but I can't afford to come to it anymore?'" said Sam Duch, a Medical Assistant at Ascension St. Elizabeth in Appleton.

Ballard, Duch and many more are caught in an endless cycle: you need a job to put gas in the car, but if you can't get to that job to make money, what then?

"We've talked about do we just get, you know, like, a smaller fuel-efficient car, and we all carpool, you know, drop kids at school, drop kids at daycare," Duch said. "Just having to think about making some of those changes that we never, ever had to really think about in the past."

Then there are the kids. These moms struggle to explain to them, no, we can't go get ice cream, or no, we can't go on our usual summer camping trip. A lot of no's at a time of year where there should be a lot of yes's, especially with kids out of school.

Alyssa Dohr is a single mom and full time student. She says with the way prices are looking, she's terrified.

"When these prices keep going up, we take away our fun things," said Dohr, who has two young kids. "And that's what's the worst."

It's memories of the fun times that push her and other moms to be their best. In fact, when asked what keeps her going, Dohr points to her kids.

"They're my fight, my life, my everything," Dohr said. "So, no matter what happens with the gas prices and everything, I will continue doing what I have to because, yeah, there's no other choice."

Hoping it gets better, but knowing they're not alone.