ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Meals on Wheels typically delivers nearly 1,200 meals a day through the service of their volunteers. Now, the staff of this nonprofit is having to cover some routes, and they are considering changing some of their operations, as gas prices are affecting the ability of volunteers to drive. These prices have been reaching record-breaking highs in the nation, and while it has affected almost everyone, including citizens in Abilene, it has caused Meals on Wheels to really struggle.
“We’ve got a lot of routes that we don’t have volunteers for, and I’m having to send staff out,” says Betty Bradley, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels.
This local nonprofit has already lost some volunteers as summer has begun, because some students quit delivering when school is out.
“And then on top of that, the gas prices have really affected Meals on Wheels,” says Bradley.
She explains that most of the volunteers that are still working have reduced their deliveries to one route instead of multiple, and the staff is now looking for alternatives.
“We may have to start using some frozen meals and deliver once or twice a week,” Bradley states.
This takes away from the daily safety check-ups they have done for their clients for years, and Bradley explains that there are many frail people that do not have anybody else checking on them throughout the day.
Jim Lambert, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, says he has become friends with his clients that are on his routes, and he will continue to serve them.
“Even though gas is a lot, it’s a good thing that I’m doing,” says Lambert.
He uses 28 miles worth of gas a week to complete his routes.
“I don’t know how much higher it’s going to be, but I think that I will definitely continue to do it,” he says.
Bradley has continued trying to help by giving out some $10 gift cards that they have at the office.
“But $10 only buys about 2 gallons of gas right now,” she says.
If you would like to donate gift cards for gas or if you would like to volunteer, call 325-672-5050.