High Gas Prices Worry Many on Fixed Income

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- These days it's tough enough putting food on the table and gas in the car, but imagine doing both on a fixed income.

It's a struggle many seniors face each day.

There are services out there to transport seniors to places like the doctor or grocery store, but it's harder and harder for those who serve others to make ends meet.

Around the pool table, or the card table it's typical talk.

"It's too high.  It cost over 40 dollars to fill up my car," said Wanda Hodges.

Wanda Hodges is at the St. Bernards Senior Life Center everyday.

Most days she and so many others depend on the center too get them there, and to places like the doctor or the grocery store.

For many, it's because gas prices are simply too high, and if you're on a fixed income, driving a car, at times,  isn't in the budget.

"We're going to have to park our cars as much as we possibly can. We can't afford groceries. It's going to be groceries or cars," said Hodges.

A decision no one should have to make, says Becky Ewart, Director of St. Bernards Senior Life Centers.

"In Jonesboro, we're delivering about 200 hot lunches a day. Our next largest center is in Trumann.  We're delivering around 60 hot meals everyday in Trumann," said Ewart.

Deliveries that are becoming ever more costly because of the price to fill delivery trucks.

Ewart is cutting corners where she can.

"Now, we try to get a load full of folks that need to go to Wal-Mart, that need to go to Kroger, or need to go to the pharmacy," said Ewart.

Becky Ewart is desperately trying to avoid cutting services.

"I know there are people out there that need our services and need us to be there for them," said Ewart.

"I  could not go anywhere if I didn't ride the senior bus--it's wonderful," said Jean Rogers.

Jean Rogers, like so many others depend on the bus not only for rides, but also for a sense of freedom.

They're hopeful that gas prices don't cost them what some say are highlights in their day.

My mom said a rocking chair killed more people than anything.  We get out and we visit with one another, make new friends, it's just wonderful," said Hodges.