Meals on Wheels is serving more local seniors than ever before. The organization has gone from providing 50,000 meals a month to around 30,000 a week. Now, a $200,000 grant will help the nonprofit meet that increased demand.
“Our demand really skyrocketed overnight,” Meals on Wheels executive director Jennifer Steele said.
As the COVID-19 restrictions have changed the way the organization serves seniors, the nonprofit rolled on, full speed ahead.
“To scale a business overnight to double or triple the size is expensive, and it’s difficult, and we needed to be able to pivot really quickly to do that,” Steele said.
Now they’re offering more meals to more people than ever before, and Meals on Wheels employees are helping in person and over the phone.
“There is a way that people right now can volunteer literally from their couch or wherever they might be most comfortable in their homes,” Steele said. “They just log into a computer system that will place calls to local seniors and there’s a script that they can follow.”
With the increase in service comes increased costs. The $200,000 grant from Horizon Community Fund will go a long way to offset that price.
“We know we can’t put a chicken in every pot, but we’re doing our best to really help those who are struggling right now,” Horizon Community Fund president Nancy Grayson said.
Horizon has raised more than $2 million, and that money will be dispersed over time to as many nonprofits as possible.
“People are giving in whatever way they can and it’s so meaningful,” Grayson said. “We’ve not had to face anything like this before in our community, so to know that everyone’s coming together is just so meaningful to all of us.”
As long as people continue to give, Meals on Wheels will keep helping others.
“We have the capacity to help and will continue to do so,” Steele said. “No one’s being turned away.”
For people interested in volunteering, you can visit Meals on Wheels’ website.