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Pandemic prices a challenge for those with fixed income

From food, to transportation and even utilities, costs are going up, and folks on a fixed income are feeling the pinch.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — From food to transportation and even utilities, costs are going up amid the pandemic.

One group feeling the effects are those on a fixed income like Edna Delbridge.

"When you go in the grocery store, everything has increased tremendously," Delbridge said. "With the fixed income....you have to take that and spread it as far as you can."

She says she's managing, but for some, it's more difficult.

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Annette Tucker leads Wateree Community Actions, Inc. (WCAI), offering utility, rental, and childcare assistance to those in Kershaw, Sumter, Lee, Clarendon and Richland counties.

"We have seen so many people coming through that we normally would not have seen at all," Tucker said. "The cost of living has gone up and their increase has not been in their pay, and they're on fixed incomes… and so the struggle for them to survive is really increased."

USC Research Economist Joseph Von Nessen says inflation is partly to blame.

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"Inflation has increased significantly now over six percent," Von Nessen said. "And so, as a result, that does begin to erode purchasing power and that is the result of both an increase in demand overall as well as the many shortages that we’re seeing.”

Delbridge is receiving food assistance from WCAI.

"That really helped," she said.

The help for rising prices will take more than an application.

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"Unfortunately, the supply chain constraints that we're seeing are likely to persist into 2022," Von Nessen said. "The main way we’re going to see this resolve itself is by businesses scaling up… in order to meet the demand.”

Those interested in receiving assistance through WCAI can learn more on wcai.org.

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