Q&A Tuesday: Loss of fundraisers may ground Meals on Wheels
After the cancellation of two major fundraisers, the Carson City Senior Citizens Center’s Meals on Wheels program needs donations to keep meals going to the homebound.
Janice McIntosh has been director of the Carson City Senior Citizens Center since March 1, 2000. She is responsible for all operations, services and staff at the center. McIntosh recently became the president-elect of the Nevada Senior Centers’ Association.
How many meals a day are delivered through the Meals on Wheel program?
The meal count can be anywhere from 140-200 meals a day. The fluctuation is due to new people coming onto the program and others going into the hospital, nursing homes, dying or recovering and no longer requiring our service.
What are the eligibility requirements for a person to receive Meals on Wheels?
According to the general requirement specifications from the Division for Aging Services, “to be eligible for Meals on Wheels, one must be 60 years of age or older and unable to attend the senior center for meals due to illness, incapacitation or disability, or the spouse of an eligible home-delivered recipient.” Recipients need to truly be “homebound.”
What is the cost of the Meals on Wheels program?
The suggested donation for all of our meals is $2; however, we only received $.73 per meal in April 2005. The total cost for each Meals on Wheels meal we provided from October 2004-September 2005 was $4.74 (this includes delivery and other related services). We must make up the difference ($2.74 per meal) through fundraising and/or donations.
If a person cannot afford it, can they still receive meals?
Absolutely. The Older Americans Act requires that “donations” for meals be anonymous. That means we are not supposed to know who donates nor how much. For Meals on Wheels, we send out an envelope each week for the client to place their donation. The envelopes are sealed when our driver’s retrieve them and then are taken to our finance office and counted by two people.
What does the center do to compensate for lack of payment?
Fundraising is a way of life for most nonprofits. However, in our case, it takes us away from our primary purpose, which is to provide direct service to our clients. If we don’t receive enough funds to cover our food/personnel/facility/vehicle costs, it is possible that we might have a waiting list for this fantastic service.
How can the community help the Meals on Wheel program?
Always keep us in mind. Carson City is a wonderfully supportive community. They really care about seniors, and we are thankful for that. We have a program called Adopt-a-Senior which helps pay for the part of the meal the senior is unable to pay for. At their $2 per meal contribution, a person may designate to help pay at:
• One month, $44
• One quarter, $132
• Six months, $264
• One year, $528
Starting in November, many people from the community buy a Christmas present or nonperishable canned food for seniors in our program. We deliver them to many smiling faces. If you are interested in this program. please contact us at 883-0703. Thanks again, Carson City.