Non-profits are losing volunteers because of the gas shortage

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Meals on Wheels volunteers have been cancelling scheduled volunteer times because of they fears running out of gas due to gas-shortages in Pitt County connected to the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline.

Volunteers for Meals on Wheels
Volunteers for Meals on Wheels(WITN News)

The Pitt County Council on Aging Executive Director Rich Zeck said they usually see anywhere from 30-35 volunteers on any given morning. But because of the gas shortage, they’ve had many people cancel because they’re afraid they’ll run out of gas. “If someone calls us at nine o’clock in the morning and says ‘hey, I’m not going to be able to deliver today because I cannot get gas for my vehicle, then we need to call somebody else because we make deliveries at 10:30. So, the ones that still continue to volunteer, the strain really comes on them because they have the ability to drive. They maybe have a full tank of gas. So, some of our volunteers have been asked to do double duty until this crisis is over,” Zeck said.

The meal routes can be as far as 25 miles roundtrip, and with people canceling, they’ve been asking those that are still volunteering to pick up their routes. Each route has around 12 meals for delivery.

Military Veteran Non-Profits like Pamlico Rose in Washington have also struggled with the gas shortage. We asked how the gas issues have affected him. Pamlico Rose CEO Robert Sands said, “We were trying to set up another distribution for vets in Greenville for Friday, tomorrow, and I’m in Washington North Carolina, and I can’t get over there because I don’t have any gas.” Pamlico Rose is a part of the East Carolina Veteran Coalition, a group of several non-profit organizations adhering to the needs of military veterans. The coalition recently received a $10,000 grant dispersed amongst the different non-profits.

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