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High gas prices make road bumpy for Meals on Wheels program

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Meals on Wheels Association of America
/
Lindsay Garrett

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-970271.mp3

Gas prices in Washington and across the Northwest are 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

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
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