Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

High gas prices make road bumpy for Meals on Wheels program

Meals on Wheels Association of America
Lindsay Garrett

Gas prices in Washington and across the Northwestare inching downward again after peaking above $4 a gallon earlier this month. The trend comes too late to erase the blow delivered to Meals on Wheels programs around the region.

The national office for Meals on Wheels says high gas prices are sending chapters all over the country into crisis. The program relies largely on volunteers to deliver food to the homebound.

In Olympia, Eileen McKinsey-Sullivan directs Senior Services for South Sound:

"Some of the drivers have been doing it out of the generosity of their heart and have not asked for reimbursement. But with the high gas prices, some of them are having to ask for reimbursement that have never asked before."

The unanticipated bill just at this office is running into the thousands of dollars. McKinsey-Sullivan says it comes on top of rising food costs, also partially related to the price of oil.

She says if the trend keeps on, her outfit will need to hold an additional fundraiser or replace daily deliveries of warm meals with fewer visits carrying multiple frozen dinners.


Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Correspondent Tom Banse is an Olympia-based reporter with more than three decades of experience covering Washington and Oregon state government, public policy, business and breaking news stories. Most of his career was spent with public radio's Northwest News Network, but now in semi-retirement his work is appearing on other outlets.