Meals on Wheels Feels High Gas Prices - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/28/04

Meals on Wheels Feels High Gas Prices

As gas prices continue to linger near the two dollar mark, drivers are looking for ways to cut down on mileage. Unfortunately, that's affecting Meals on Wheels, as volunteer drivers are parking their cars at lunchtime instead of delivering meals to the needy.

For the last 33 years, Lubbock Meals on Wheels has been supported by the generosity of the people in this community.

"Volunteers are our backbone, they are our delivery system. We are feeding, we have 550 on our program currently. And we send out one hot meal a day. And volunteers are the delivery system," said Executive Director Lorrie Bellair.

Volunteers drive their own cars and pay for their own gas. But with the price at the pump so high these days, some are having to turn their back on charity.

"On Monday we had three people resign from delivering for us, cause I think there's just a little bit of a panic with the gas prices. We're not in any type of panic situation, but it's slowly starting to happen and it is a concern because we can't operate with out drivers," Bellair said.

And these drivers, mean so much more than just a meal to the people they see everyday, they form friendships. When Mary Cunningham stops in to see 91-year-old Pauline Arnold, they visit about grand babies and great grand babies, they talk about Paulines' genealogy charting and making memory books.

"They are the most fantastic people, I feel like I have been so blessed," said Meals on Wheels recipient Pauline Arnold.

Mary, who's been delivering for ten years says it's very rewarding, and she says she won't let the high gas prices get in the way of her job.

"I have loved every minute of it. And I don't want to give it up, because the people are so generous in how they appreciate it," said volunteer Mary Cunningham.

So she drives on, but others can't, whether it be a fixed income situation or just tight times. The gas prices have also effected their costs for goods, as freight companies have increased prices due to the prices at the pumps.

Meals on Wheels is always looking for volunteers and donations. If you would like to help, call Meals on Wheels at 792-7971.

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