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Record-high gas prices impact local food bank


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Samantha Lomibao

KESQ Reporter

Record prices at the pump have been impacting FIND Food Bank and its ability to provide local services.

“With the rising gas prices, we need that much more help from the community,” said CEO Debbie Espinosa.

FIND Food Bank serves upwards of 150,00 people every month, but Espinosa said the rising prices at the pump are making it difficult to transport products. “We have to be really, really careful about how we deploy vehicles and the efficiencies of how we deploy vehicles because we are already double the amount that we were paying in diesel prices than where we were at last year.”

To bring food donations from outside of the Coachella Valley, Espinosa said it used to cost between $700-$800 per truckload, but due to the rising gas prices it’s costing up to $3000 per truck.

With distribution sites and mobile markets throughout the valley, Find hopes to make it more convenient and cost-efficient for those in need of food.

“It’s closer to home than for them having to pay the extra gas prices just to go and get the free food,” Espinosa said.

Gas prices in California are the highest in the nation right now, and it’s safe to say everyone is feeling it in their wallets.

The statewide average rose more than 11 cents per gallon in 24 hours Thursday. In Riverside County, the average was more than $5.65 and climbing.

Some tips for better gas mileage according to AAA:

► Slow down and drive the speed limit. On the highway, aerodynamic drag causes fuel economy to drop off significantly as speeds increase above 50 mph.

► Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard acceleration. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.

► Avoid prolonged idling in general. If your car will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, shut off the engine to save fuel. Many newer cars have automatic engine stop-start systems that do this.

► When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.

► Accelerate smoothly with light to moderate throttle. This allows the automatic transmission to upshift into higher gears sooner, reducing engine rpm and saving fuel.

► Use cruise control to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.

► If your car has a manual transmission, upshift as soon as you can without “lugging” the engine. When practical, you can also save fuel by skip-shifting – for example, going directly from first gear to third.

► Minimize your use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, open windows have less effect on fuel economy than the engine power required to operate the air conditioning compressor.

► Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip, and whenever possible travel outside high-traffic times of day.

► If you own more than one car, use the most fuel efficient model that meets the needs of any given journey.

► Remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car. It takes more fuel to accelerate a heavier car, and the reduction in fuel economy is greater for small cars than larger models.

► AAA research has found that unless premium fuel is recommended or required by your car’s manufacturer, it provides no added benefit. Motorists should refer to their vehicle’s owner’s manual to check which type of gasoline is recommended for their engine.

Apps to help you save:

Get Upside

The Get Upside app can save you up to 25 cents per gallon every time you get gasoline, depending on the offers in your area.


GasBuddy has several built-in features you can access to save you money on gasoline.

The app offers a free GasBuddy fuel card which can save you up to 25 cents per gallon.

CLICK HERE to use News Channel 3’s free Gas Gauge to track local gas prices and find the best deal.