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Fuel expenses for Meals on Wheels have more than doubled

By on March 16, 2022 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With more than 7,000 active volunteers, Columbus’ Meals on Wheels program is working harder than ever to prepare and deliver meals to local seniors in need.

But the recent rise in gas prices is beginning to have an impact on the organization.

According to Chuck Gehring, president and CEO of the LifeCare Alliance, a nonprofit organization that operates the Meals on Wheels program in Columbus, fuel expenses for Meals on Wheels food trucks that travel through central Ohio for combating hunger among the elderly more than doubled.

“In a normal month, we’ll spend $5,000 to $6,000 on gas, so right now we’re over $10,000 for the month,” said Chuck Gehring, president and CEO of LifeCare Alliance.

Despite the dent in Meals on Wheels’ portfolio from soaring gas prices, Gehring said none of their meal services or deliveries will be cut.

“We’ve been pretty close and we’ve been able to fill all the orders and cook the meals every day, so as long as we can do that, we’re happy,” Gehring said.

And so are the organization’s volunteers, who travel local routes in Columbus.

“The area I’m giving birth in is very depressed, so it really gives you an insight into what these people are going through,” said Christine Scarcello, a local volunteer.

Scarcello is one of many LifeCare Alliance volunteers who takes the time to deliver meals to Columbus residents in his own personal vehicle.

And because the volunteer commutes are so much shorter, she said putting a little more into her tank each week was worth it.

“These customers really need those meals, so for me it’s a sacrifice, but not that big,” Scarcello said.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, or for more information about Meals on Wheels, visit her website.