● Meals on wheels in Charlotte-Mecklenburg ●
TV report focuses on gasoline costs
Feb. 7, 2012
Above is a Fox Charlotte report about the impact of rising gasoline prices on Friendship Trays' volunteers. The text of the report:
Volunteer Delivery Drivers Impacted by Rising Gas Prices
By [Morgan Fogarty]
Story Updated: Feb 6, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Prep for tomorrow's meals is underway at Friendship Trays in south Charlotte. The non profit, part of Meals on Wheels, delivers up to 800 meals a day, Monday through Friday, to private homes as well as day care centers.
It relies exclusively on a network of volunteers to make those deliveries happen. When gas prices rise, Executive Director Lucy Bush Carter says volunteers may back off, but "They may not wanna tells us, 'it's because I can't afford it," she says.
Volunteers who make the decision to keep delivering food have ways of working around the climbing cost of gasoline, including carpooling. "Instead of everybody driving their own vehicle," says volunteer Katherine Metzo. She also says when it gets more expensive to fill her tank, planning is key. "So when you're coming to drive a route, you wanna plan other activities around that, that are in the same area," says Metzo.
Friendship Trays once served people only inside the 277 loop. Now, it covers all of Mecklenburg County with 95 different delivery routes.
Friendship Gardens Program Director Henry Owen says, "Friendship Trays does a really good job of clumping the routes together so they're mindful of not only volunteers' time, but also their mileage."
Bush Carter says some volunteers also step up financially, telling her, "I can pay for the gas, so give me a route that's farther out."
It's an important sacrifice for the Charlotte community and Friendship Tray clients, who look forward to the visit from the volunteer as much as they do the meal.
"They need that visit as much as they need the nourishment the food provides," says Bush Carter.
Friendship Trays needs at least 120 volunteers a day to make the program work. In addition to the gas, the time commitment is about an hour. If you'd like to help, go to http://www.friendshiptrays.org/