Rising food and fuel prices impact a local ministry

Transformation Ranch looks at ways to cut costs as inflation climbs

LEE COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – Rising fuel and food prices are hitting everyone hard, and that includes nonprofits.

Every day, 30 men who live at the Transformation Ranch are driven to their jobs and picked up in the afternoon.

The sharp spike in fuel prices is making the daily commutes much more expensive.

“There are six different locations our guys work at and I noticed, for the month of March, our gas had gone up, just from a month before, more than a thousand dollars,” said Pastor David Ball.

That has meant parking the 15 passenger vans and using smaller cars and vans to help shuttle the ranch residents to and from work.

The higher cost of groceries is also putting a dent in the ministry’s budget.

“We delegate who buys groceries each week, one person makes a list, they go buy it, they give me the receipt and I noticed on the receipt we’re actually doubled what we normally spend each week,” said Transformation Ranch Residential Director, Glenn Best.

“For the first time ever, ten years of existence, the first time the Transformation Ranch did not take in enough to pay bills, we can pay the bills because God’s grace is good, but for that month of March, our expenditures exceeded the income we charge the guys in rent,” Pastor Ball said.

For now, Transformation Ranch has not had to increase the monthly rent it charges to its residents, but that could change if prices for food and fuel don’t come down soon.

“Hopefully we don’t have to raise the rent, but that is one of the options we have to consider.  Of course, raising the rent means less money in escrow.  A  lot of these guys have fines, fees, restitution, child support, so it’s not just our rent , there are other bills as well,” Pastor Ball said.

In the meantime, the ministry is cutting costs any way it can, there may be fewer cookouts for residents, and a well-worn rug that needs to be replaced will have to do for now. If there is one bright spot, the ever present labor shortage means it is no problem finding jobs for ranch residents.

Residents stay at Transformation Ranch for nine months.  The ministry also operates Transformation House,  a recovery ministry for women, and Transformation Garden, a residential home for survivors of sexual exploitation.




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