By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND- With climbing gas prices and a growing population, the non-profit Meals on Wheels is struggling to survive.
They're down several drivers but up in the number of people needing meals.
Pamela Davis with Meals on Wheels says, "In the last couple of weeks we've had five people who've, for various reasons, had to drop out."
Each day, hot plates from the hospital get dropped off at their office. Then, 78 meals have to be delivered around the city, requiring at least 32 drivers. However, with gas prices continuously rising, it has become increasingly challenging to find drivers willing to deliver meals.
Many of the drivers have tight budgets themselves.
"The majority of our drivers are retired people on fixed incomes. We have one person who is 90 years-old driving for us," Davis said.
The high drop out rate means current drivers are making two to three times as many runs as usual.
Bill Salter has been a driver for 15 years. He says the gas prices are a little painful, but the experience is well worth shelling out a few more bucks.
"It's just a lot of fun to meet these people and talk to them and listen to their stories. They like to talk to you," Salter said.
Meals on Wheels will take anyone who is dependable with a valid drivers license. Any time commitment is appreciated.
"If you have time for once a month, than once a month is a big help for us," Davis says.
They train daily and it only takes about a half hour.