FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Prices at the pump continue surging, impacting individuals throughout the country. The impact is going further than that in Fort Wayne, causing one organization to cut back on how it serves the community.
Homebound Meals serves people in need aging, recovering, low functioning adults, as well as widows since 1971. The organization is 100% local and meals are prepared at local medical facilities. Meals clients receive are medically tailor to their individual needs.
Due to inflation, costs for the meals went up $.30 as of March 1. Rising gas prices are causing disturbances in the organization’s flow as well.
Barb Umber, the executive director of Homebound Meals says, “we’ve already had to cut one route and disperse clients into other hot routes. The truth is who can spend $5 a gallon once a week to deliver meals?,” she shares.
Every driver with the organization is a volunteer, which Umber says keeps the program up and running.
“We are looking at closing another route. Sometimes our drivers are the only people that these clients see everyday and I often think it’s less about the food and more about the daffodils or the Cubs or whatever they want to talk about. The gas prices are just scaring people away,” Umber explains.
The organization focuses on hot meals, but also serves frozen meals to clients to ensure they receiving proper nutrients.
“We get the frozen meals from Indianapolis, and 80% of those resources are grown or raised in Indiana,” Umber says.
Umber says she is concerned about the summer as volunteers are retiring and more people are not signing on to help.
“Some of our folks are out getting jobs to help feed their own families, this is far worse than during the pandemic… far worse. We should have no problem feeding our people,” Umber explains.
For more information on the organization as well as information on how you can help, visit the website.