(Memphis) Energy companies said utility bills have soared because of the brutal weather we've seen.
"It's cutting back on things that my daughter needs," said Tameka Brakefield.
Brakefield is forced to make sacrifices like not buying new basketball gear for her daughter.
These last two months, her utility bill was more than $1,000.
"It's normally four-something, like $450," said Brakefield.
On average, people across the country are seeing a 20 percent increase in their heating bill.
MLGW said Shelby County is no exception, so customers' bills continue to rise as temperatures drop.
It's causing Brakefield and thousands of others to cut back.
"As fast as it's coming in the door, it's coming out of the door," said Estella Mayhue-Greer with the Mid-South Food Bank.
The food bank is strapped.
Higher utility bills are sending more people their way for food, so what they have is flying off the shelves.
"People often choose between food and paying utility bills. In this cold weather, the choice is going to be utility bills, particularly for seniors and for those parents with children at home," said Mayhue-Greer.
It's shaping up to be one of the coldest winters we've seen, and with more snow and harsh weather headed our way tomorrow, it looks like you won't catch a break anytime soon.