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Rising Fuel and Food Prices Claim Charity Volunteers

Friday, June 27, 2008 at 5:00 AM

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Rising gasoline and food prices are affecting everyone - but the latest victims are volunteer organizations that depend on both. Ideastream's Gretchen Cuda reports.

Many people are cutting back on their driving to curb their fuel costs - and one of the first places they trim is volunteer work. More than half of Meals-on-wheels programs around the country are reporting a drop in volunteers says Enid Borden, Meals on wheels President and CEO.

BORDEN: I’ve been involved with Meals on Wheels now for over 15 years - almost 16 years. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. We’re taking a double hit. The gas prices are up, food prices are up. We are meals on wheels, we got ‘em both.

Akron-based Mobile Meals Inc. is seeing a decline in its volunteers too, says the organizations executive director Kathleen Downing.

DOWNING: We are seeing a decline in folks that are willing to volunteer, they ask questions about driving their own car at the beginning of the interview instead of later on in the interview. Some are saying, gee if I have to use my own car then I can’t do that.

Increasing the efficiency of their routes and vehicles is one way to keep costs down says Downing, but the demand for services and the need for volunteers is greater than ever. Gretchen Cuda, 90.3

Tags

Aging/The Elderly, Community/Human Interest, Energy, Transportation, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends

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