Gas prices put the squeeze on nonprofits

February 29, 2012 7:24:09 PM PST
Gas prices in the Triangle have gone up 23 cents a gallon in the past month to an average price of $3.72 a gallon. Now, the upward trend has some nonprofits concerned about their bottom line.

The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle depends on mobility, picking up donations and getting them out to the people who need them. However, it comes at a cost.

"So we've got one receipt right here. You can see the amount pumped right here was $114.17. So that's to fill up one of our trucks," said Kia Baker, with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.

The nonprofit is seeing the receipts add up, and it's hoping to put a lid on rising fuel expenses before it's too late.

"We have a certain mark. Once the gas prices hit that mark, we've really got to cut back and reduce our services," said Baker. "Reduce the number of routes we drive on a daily basis, which obviously is not an ideal situation for the family."

The donated food is transported on big trucks. The group is seeing gas eat up its budget with fears of cutbacks looming.

"It really makes it inconvenient for folks who need food in our communities," said Baker.

Other nonprofits are already cutting back, like Meals on Wheels in Cumberland County.

Volunteers have to pay for the gas to deliver meals in their own cars. Some have found it to be too much, and have quit.

Meanwhile, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has spent $40,000 more in fuel than last year.

The big question now is how high will gas prices go, and will there be some relief?

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