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LIBRE-PA’s Bidenomics Grocery Store Event

June 26, 2024

The Latino advocacy group The LIBRE Initiative provided vouchers and inflation classes at Ideal Food Basket, 410 Montclair Ave., Bethlehem, on Wednesday, June 26, 2024.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Ideliza Colon feels it along with her family and friends: It’s harder to make ends meet with the costs of groceries, housing and fuel outpacing the cost of living. “It’s hard,” Colon said Wednesday afternoon outside the Ideal Food Basket, a market just off Broadway in South Bethlehem.

“I see a lot of homelessness in this economy. It’s so high with the prices of rent and food. It’s a real big struggle for a lot of families out here.”

Colon, who works in the housekeeping department at Lehigh University, was among dozens of folks who cashed in vouchers at Ideal Food Basket provided by The Libre Initiative, a Latino advocacy group.

For a few hours, the conservative-leaning initiative gave shoppers grocery vouchers valued at $59.08. The parking lot was full just after 1 p.m.

The amount was symbolic and calculated to represent the amount of inflation since 2021, when the Biden administration came into office, said Jennie Dallas, strategic director for The LIBRE Initiative in Pennsylvania.

The national organization was founded more than 10 years ago but kicked off its Pennsylvania efforts a few months ago.

“We’re giving [people] a break from inflation today,” Dallas said. “We’re not giving charity.

“We’re giving you a break from whatever we have been experiencing. Many families will tell you they’re choosing between food and gas.

“They’re choosing between rent and food, and they’re getting basic stuff. There’s some significant repercussions to the Latino community because they’re already lower-income based.”

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