The price of gasoline is causing problems for the volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors who need that service throughout Malheur County in Eastern Oregon.
According to Diane, who is the coordinator of the program at the Malheur Council on Aging in Ontario, donations would help to keep the volunteers going. Address checks to MCOA Meals on Wheels Volunteer program at PO Box 937, Ontario 97914. For more information, call Dianne at 541-889-7651. The council on aging office is at 842 S.E. 1st Avenue in Ontario.
Here’s a report on the problem that was carried in the Argus Observer on July 3. (For this and other stories from current issues of the Argus Observer, follow the link posted on the right.)
Gas price crisis -- Meals on Wheels program endures under the weight of high gas prices
ONTARIO — The price of gasoline is not only affecting the cost of travel and the price of getting to work, but it is also hitting agencies charged with providing critical services to those in need.
At least one area service — the popular, volunteer Meals on Wheels program — struggles to accomplish its mission when gas prices climb.
“It’s happening,” Diane Lopez, senior nutrition manager for the Malheur Council on Aging, said regarding the impact of high gas prices. The local Meals on Wheels program is coordinated through the Malheur Council on Aging.
To save money, the local Meals on Wheels program delivers one hot meal per week to clients who live out of town. The rest, up to six, are frozen.
“I have (clients) on Canyon Two and past Canyon Two,” Lopez, who has extended the delivery range outside of area communities to include more people who need the service, said.
One person, who lives on Overstreet Road, north of Adrian, also gets the frozen dinners once a week, but that was arranged before the higher gas prices, Lopez said.
The drivers are people who volunteer through their churches that rotate delivering the meals.
For many the Meals on Wheels program remains a stable and soothing fixture every week that includes a social aspect, Lopez said.
For some seniors, the arrival of the meals is their cue that it is time to eat.
“They forget to eat,” Lopez said.