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The LIBRE Initiative talks solutions to inflation, counters rising cost of food by giving out gift cards in Rio Grande Valley

LIBRE staff help offset rising cost of good with gift card giveaways and talking to customers about solutions to inflation in Pharr, Texas at LIBRE's True Cost of Washington event.

While Texans enjoy their ten-gallon hats, big boots, and enormous skies, the supersized prices they are paying as a result of skyrocketing inflation are not welcome.

And the rising cost of food is hitting Latinos in Texas especially hard.

The LIBRE Initiative Texas Coalitions Director Jorge Martinez joined a local talk radio station to highlight how inflation is harming Latinos in the Rio Grande Valley. (Telemundo also interviewed LIBRE President Daniel Garza.)

LIBRE-Texas Coalitions Director Jorge Martinez talks to media about what's causing inflation and the rising cost of food at LIBRE's True Cost of Washington event outside Junior's in Pharr, Texas.
Pharr, Texas – August 6, 2022: Coalitions Director Jorge Martinez talks to the press about what’s driving up the rising cost of food and what can be done to reduce inflation.

With the price of groceries going up, The LIBRE Initiative hosted a Groceries Giveaway event in Pharr, Texas on August 6 to bring awareness to harmful federal policies that are driving up costs of everyday goods.

During the event, featuring US Congresswoman Mayra Flores, LIBRE gave out gift cards valued at $105.86, a number that reflects the increase in the price of a week’s worth of groceries from 2021 to today.

Price of groceries going up everywhere

The line at Junior’s Supermarket in Pharr started to form two full hours before the event began. The demand reflected the burden historic increases in inflation have placed on Texas families.

Skyrocketing inflation has caused the average household’s annual grocery costs to go up by about $430. The rising cost of food is evidenced by:

  • A 13.8% increase in meat, poultry, and fish prices
  • A 13.3% jump in the price of milk; and
  • A 5.8% climb in the cost of fresh vegetables

Families are struggling to put nutritious options on the table, and inflation means they also are struggling to keep the lights on in their homes.

Maya Flores joined LIBRE in countering the rising cost of food in Pharr, Texas. Here, she's pictured hugging a customer.
Pharr, Texas – August 6, 2022: U.S. Representative Maya Flores shared with LIBRE how inflation and the rising cost of food are hurting her constituents.

“Right now all I hear [from my constituents] is the suffering that they’re going through because of the cost of gas, groceries, rent, and light. Everyone is telling me the cost of [electricity] has doubled,” said U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas) at the event in Pharr.

Earlier this summer, the Texas Tribune reported many Texas families are paying prices that are 50 to 70% higher than last year.

Rep. Flores noted the rising cost of food, gas, and electricity does greater harm to Americans living on lower- and middle-class incomes.

Latinos in Rio Grande Valley feeling pain from rising cost of food

On average, Latinos spend more on staples like food and energy, which means that when those prices rise, a greater proportion of their incomes go to providing basic needs for their families.

Inflation harms the Latino community in other ways as well.

Customers saved more than $100 on their groceries at LIBRE's True Cost event to counter the rising cost of food
Pharr, Texas – August 6, 2022: Customers saved more than $100 on their groceries using the gift cards LIBRE staff handed out as they talked solutions to inflation.

Hispanics open businesses at a faster rate than other groups in almost all industries. And although these Latino-owned firms grow revenues faster than the average U.S. business, inflation rates threaten companies’ buying power. Decreased buying power caused by inflation leads to skyrocketing costs for the supplies and services needed to run a business.

In short, rising inflation is leading to decreased profits and increased spending for Latino business owners. The rising cost of food, transportation, energy, and other goods could erode long-term business growth in the community.

Solutions to inflation and the price of groceries going up

Getting prices under control is the number one priority for majority of Latinos.

According to an Ipsos poll released earlier this year, Latino Americans are increasingly concerned about inflation or supply chain issues. Ipsos found concerns about inflation had risen across party lines.

At the event in Pharr, Garza explained that excessive government spending and regulation are to blame for the rising cost of food and other goods.

As part of the True Cost of Washington campaign, LIBRE is educating the Latino community about how spending by both political parties has led to skyrocketing inflation. Garza and his team are also helping Latinos raise their voices in support of the following policies, which will calm inflation:

  • Reducing federal and state regulation
  • Cutting unnecessary government spending
  • Reversing policies where the government picks winners and losers
  • Investing in affordable energy solutions
  • Enacting policies so Americans can take advantage of flexible work options

Congress can stop inflation. Hold your legislators accountable for their wasteful spending that's increasing historic inflation today.

Hold your lawmakers accountable for stopping inflation today!