ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Inflation soared to a new 40-year high last month, according to the government’s consumer price index.

The new report released on Wednesday, July 13 shows that June’s inflation is up 9.1%, marking the largest 12-month increase since 1981. About half of the increase is due to fuel and oil costs.

With the cost of just about everything going up, many people are struggling to make ends meet, so WFXR News’ Amanda Lee spoke with Roanoke experts about what’s adding to the spike and how you can prepare your family for what lies ahead.

A Roanoke investment officer, Hillary Sunderland, says we’re still not as close to a recession as it may seem due to a large job market.

“The report that came out this morning was a little disheartening. We expected the headline inflationary numbers to increase, which it did, but we thought that the core inflationary number would show some signs of softening,” Sunderland said.

However, when you have such a strong jobs market, she says that makes a prolonged recessionary environment much less likely.

Nevertheless, Sunderland tells WFXR News that a recession is still possible in 2023.

When it comes to preparing for high prices to stick around, Maynard Keller — a Roanoke financial planner and father of five — says budgeting and buying in bulk are things he and his own family are doing, as well as consolidating errands.

He also recommends using outlets like YouTube to learn how to fix household appliances or cars on your own before hiring someone to do it.

“There are many things you can fix yourself. It just takes more of your time, and time and money are really a trade off,” Keller said.

As for putting food on the table, Becci Sisson with the Rescue Mission of Roanoke says many families are turning to food pantries, especially older people taking care of younger family members.

“This is something that we’ll probably see through the fall, maybe for the rest of 2022,” she said.

According to Sisson, anyone is welcome to utilize the rescue mission’s food pantry when time gets tough. She also encourages families to share what they can so there’s enough to go around.

“Families are going to have to come closer and closer together to make sure they can make that dollar stretch to feed their people,” said Sisson.

The Rescue Mission of Roanoke has a drive-thru food box program every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.