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Gas prices hinder Lawton Mobile Meals

Lawton_Some of Lawton's elderly could go hungry because of record-high gas prices.  They depend on the good will of charitable organizations to get fed - organizations such as "Lawton Mobile Meals."  However, many of those organizations depend on volunteers to get those meals delivered, and that's causing problems lately.  Gasoline is so expensive, some volunteers can't afford to deliver the meals anymore.

Pat Miller and her husband George have been delivering meals to shut-ins and the elderly for the past ten years without missing a single day - and they say they look forward to it.  They are only two of the dozens of volunteers who deliver food to over 70 needy people in Lawton.  "They wouldn't have a meal if it wasn't for the fact that we bring these meals out," says Lawton Mobile Meals Director Billie Smith. 

One of those people who rely on mobile meals.  She can't work because of her diabetes, and only has sight in one eye.  She says she wouldn't know what she would do without the mobile meals program.  "I really appreciate getting my meals," she said. 

But, with soaring gas prices, it's becoming more difficult for some drivers to top off their tanks for the trips.  "We've had one driver that has quit," says Smith.  She says that since the drivers are all volunteers, they use their own gas - and gas money - to deliver the food.  It can get costly for them.  Thankfully, the volunteers are a loyal bunch, and they're not going to let gas prices keep them from their appointed rounds.  Smith says that despite the setback of losing a driver, they have already filled the route left by that volunteer who had to quit.

Miller says that even if gas rises above $4 per gallon, she and her husband will continue to do their part, even if other volunteers are forced to stop.  "These people are always going to be hungry, so that's the least we can do," says Miller. 

If fuel prices continue to rise, Lawton Mobile Meals may need even more volunteers to help.  If you would like to volunteer, call them at 580-357-5396.  Remember, any gas used while working with the non-profit organization is tax deductable.

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