Food programs tightening their belts due to high gas prices

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Meal delivery programs across Region 8 may soon be cutting back on other activities in order to keep food free for those in need.

Meals express is not a volunteer program, but it is still feeling the impact on rising gas prices.

The program is part of the St. Bernards Senior Life Center, and director Elizabeth Ferguson says they're on a tight budget...

"We have a budget with triple-a and we maintain that budget very closely. and so we watch that, and we may offset some other things so that we don't have to deny any services to anybody."

They can either deliver hot food to other senior centers in bulk or give away frozen dinners for an entire week.

The senior life center has taken a hit in the checkbook lately because of the deliveries--but this service is vital.

"We do have routes that we'll take meals out to surrounding counties."

Food is bought through certain vendors, and with the gas price hike, those vendors must raise the cost of food to offset the expense.

The state and federal funding may not be enough to help Meals Express go the extra mile.

"We're donation-based. So, our donations are another avenue of helping us to survive in the crisis of the gas costs and all that."

These donations provide for congregates and home-delivered meals, transportation and socialization.

"We may stop some of our social outings or things of that nature, but we're not going to stop the food."

You can help the St. Bernards Senior Life Centers by clicking here.

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