Rising Fuel Prices Hurt Yakima Charity - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rising Fuel Prices Hurt Yakima Charity

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Yakima, wash - Gas prices have gone up so much, local charities are forced to cut back.

A service that drives meals to the elderly simply can't keep up with the rising costs.  These record high prices will eventually limit the quality and the amount of food that can be delivered to people in the Yakima community, who are unable to cook for themselves.

"We're now at the point where we are going to have to cut out meals," says Jerry Baldoz, the Director of the Senior Nutrition Program at Yakima County Food Services.

It's called the Meals on Wheels Program.  Six hundred meals a week are delivered to seniors all over the Yakima Valley.  Four hundred seniors a day go to different sites in the county for the Congregate Meal Program.  It offers healthy food in exchange for an optional donation, but more than just meals could be lost with the rising gas prices and going over budget.

"It's not just nutrition they lose, they loose the ability to socialize with friends to get out of the house once in awhile," explains Baldoz.

Employees have already been laid-off to stay within the budget. 

The vehicles they use drink up about $100 worth of gas a day to get meals to seniors.  The cut backs are expected to hit the programs by September.

Staff for Yakima County Food Services say the commissioners are working to try and relieve some of the costs, but donations may be the best thing they could receive right now.