H-PISMO BEACH

Mar 6, 2013 9:51 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News

High gas prices don't stop volunteers

A proposed California gas tax would increase the price you pay at the pump, but a local charity isn't putting on the brakes.

The California State Board of Equalization approved a 3.5 cent increase last week.

Local organizations like Five Cities Meals On Wheels are feeling the pressure.

Volunteers like Gloria Hazell deliver hundreds of meals every week in the Five Cities area.

Volunteers drive hundreds of miles using their own cars and money, but gas isn't cheap.

"It wouldn't stop me, but I think about it," said Hazell.

Meals On Wheels in Pismo Beach is only funded with private donations, so it becomes more of a challenge when the cost of delivering meals jumps.

"It's hard on all of us, but I think there must be some volunteers that it's really difficult," said Hazell.

Volunteer Forrest Frost says the need for these meals in the community is worth more than a few hundred bucks of gas.

"They thank us a lot. They send us cards and letters to show their appreciation," said Frost.

Frost logged more than 6,000 miles with Meals On Wheels last year. He says it's worth the cost at the pump.

"Nothing stops me from this. I enjoy it," said Frost.
But even with passionate volunteers, each meal and mile gets pricey.

"They love the job, but it does cost them and some of them feel the pinch when prices go up," said Five Cities Meals On Wheels Director Mary Howell.

Howell says the volunteer drivers and donations from the community are how these meals get their wheels.

"The need is continuous," said Howell.

Howell says Meals On Wheels may soon be offering gas cards for the volunteers that would be donated by the community.

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