Nacogdoches Meals On Wheels having financial difficulties - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches Meals On Wheels having financial difficulties

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - With each turn of the ignition key, Nacogdoches Meals On Wheels driver Ed McClurg thinks I remember when.   Mcclurg said, " I remember when gasoline was .20 a gallon and I didn't have .20 to buy a gallon of gas. " In the kitchen head cook Martha Woodson said,  " Well, I don't remember when .20 was here, but I remember when it went a whole lot further than it does now. " Martha recalls when her meals for the elderly didn't cost so much. She commented,  " We doin' a whole lot of casseroles now. We have to. "  

The vast majority of the clients are within the city limits of Nacogdoches, but Meals On Wheels hits the road to Cushing, Chireno, Etoile and Garrison for about 100 clients. The mileage adds up.... 625 miles a week. So far this year, the Nacogdoches Senior Center has spent $3,000 more on fuel than they did for the same period last year.

A tough decision lies ahead. Senior center board president, Greg Sowell explained, " It has been discussed of allowing some other folks to take over some of the outlying satellite feeding areas, to let some other entities take those or perhaps even suspend operations until the crisis is over. " Senior Center Director, Tammy Blank handles finances, grant applications and fundraisers. They're more important than ever, considering a 50% cut in United Way funding. She said, " We've always ran on a shoe string,  but with rising fuel costs, grocery costs and an increase in minimum wage, things are tight. "

County leaders are seeking additional funding. Nacogdoches County Commissioner Reggie Cotton is going to the Deep East Texas Council of Governments. " The monies that are available from detcog, I have requested $5,000-$10,000. "  But even if the check came in right now, Meals On Wheels wouldn't be out of the red. The program needs about $50,000 to catch up. A decision should come by the end of the week on whether or not to suspend outlying services. 

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