Guns and butter 

Costs of grocery staples are going up 10 to 15 cents every week, with some items veggies, fruit, bread provoking gasps of disbelief. And if it's tough on the middle class, it's much tougher on those of more limited means.

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Jonathan Evans
West side

Cite an example of grocery-store sticker shock. We're vegetarians, and the price of vegetables has rocketed. A bundle of lettuce goes for $4.60! I don't approve of Wal-Mart, but we're shopping there more because it is cheaper.

Have you ever known anyone on food assistance? I needed it myself back in West Virginia in 1983.

Does Care and Share food bank perform a valuable service? Indispensable. In England, where I come from, food stamps and help with rent is far more available to the needy. Health care is free. We lack that kind of organized assistance in America.

Do people care less about the homeless and needy these days? The super-rich don't even notice them because they're flashing by in their cars, and the middle class is struggling more to stay afloat themselves.

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Merrilee Barnett

Owner of plant nursery
Do you know anyone receiving food assistance? I have in the past. They were people with children and low-paying jobs, or people who'd lost jobs and needed help for a while.

Do we care as much about the hungry as we used to? We care as much, but we do less. It's easy in a city like Colorado Springs to ignore the hungry. They're always there, and we feel guilty seeing them, so they kind of become invisible to us.

Why is Care and Share struggling? There's been an explosion of agencies and organizations soliciting our help locally, nationally, even from overseas.

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Bob Koontz
Palmer Park

Home care
Have rising prices at grocery stores changed your buying habits? I'm buying more selectively. I'm frequenting used bread stores and farmers markets. I'm buying a lot less meat.

How important is Care and Share to the community? It is vital to the working poor of this town. I volunteered at the soup kitchen years ago, and it was an eye-opener. I saw families and educated people coming in. They were just like you and me, but in bad circumstances.

Do people care as much about the hungry these days? Well, not a dime of government money went into improving the Marian House [Soup Kitchen]. That came entirely from public donations.
Bob Campbell


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