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How local non-profits are adapting to rising gas prices

MEALS ON WHEELS.PNG
Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 21:43:13-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Gas prices are climbing, and impacting local non-profits who rely on volunteers who use their cars to help out.

Silver Key's Meals On Wheels has been serving the Pikes Peak Region for decades.

"It provides more than just a meal. It's a bright uplifting visit, a friendly conversation, and a safety check," said Derek Wilson, Chief Strategy Officer for Silver Key.

Helping low-income seniors get much-needed help.

"We are seeing more people reach out for a variety of reasons, particularly for food or to get around. Seniors who are often on fixed incomes or low fixed incomes are finding it challenging to pay for gas, housing, food, and medicine. All of those things so they reach out so we're seeing more and more calls every day from people saying can I get a ride, can I get a meal, or can you deliver the meal to me," said Wilson.

The organization says they've seen a 7 percent increase in meal delivery services this year alone, which makes volunteers all the more important.

"More and more volunteers are saying they have to take a pause or they can't or asking if they can use our vehicles," said Wilson.

Rising gas prices making it hard for volunteers to do what they love.

"Due to costs, we're not able to provide gas or anything like that but we do want them to know they are able to receive a lot of heart energy and heart worth by what they give back. For many people, that's priceless," said Wilson.

They're taking steps to alleviate some of the pressure on their volunteers.

"What we're doing is trying to optimize routes. The other thing is that we're asking the community to really help us offset those costs because we can't do what we do without the community's investment into something important for our most vulnerable
community," said Wilson.

Throughout the entire month of March, Meals on Wheels will be celebrating the program. Silver Key will have select community dignitaries and local celebrities onsite volunteering during Community Champions Week, March 21-25, to help raise awareness
and visibility for the cause.

For more information to get involved with the organization, call 719-884-2300 or email info@silverkey.org.