SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Red Cross is planning to end its mobile blood drive operations in western and central Massachusetts, the organization announced on Tuesday.

Local Red Cross spokeswoman Kelly Isenor told 22News the American Red Cross has tentatively made this difficult decision based on the challenging economic conditions in the blood industry. 

Isenor said the decision could affect as many as 68 Red Cross positions in the western and central parts of the state. 

22News spoke to people who were upset by the prospect of dozens of jobs being lost.

“Why doesn’t western Mass have any money, because eastern Mass gets all the jobs,” said Judy Delonge of Springfield.

Delonge feels this is just another example of western Massachusetts losing out to the eastern part of the state. She said she is worried this may impact the blood supply in western Massachusetts.

Elaine Santos of Springfield told 22News she questions whether many people know where the Springfield Red Cross donation center is located. And with the Red Cross continuing its emergency call for blood and platelet donors she wonders if the non-profit is making the right decision.

“Usually we have the mobile ones at the churches or schools which make it a little convenient for those of us who have to work and maybe go after hours,” Santos said.

“I don’t think it’s a positive thing. It might be more of a negative.”

All currently scheduled blood drives will go on as planned, but once this decision goes into effect, there will be no more community blood drives in this area. 

The Red Cross will continue to collect blood and platelets at its donation centers at 150 Brookedale Drive in Springfield and in Worcester.