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Meals On Wheels Fundraising Efforts Needed More than Ever

Meals On Wheels is about to kick off their largest fundraiser of the year as they struggle to keep up with inflation.

The non-profit organization says rising costs, doubled with a reduction in COVID funding, has made funding more challenging.

The program of the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency gets only 30% of its funding from state and federal sources. The rest comes from fundraising efforts.

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The annual fundraiser, ”Moomers for Meals” is Saturday, March 18 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It features a hot fudge sundae bar with proceeds going directly to Meals on Wheels of NMCAA.

Mike Smith is in his eighth year as a volunteer delivery driver for Meals on Wheels.

“Once you get started and you see the need, it’s not something you want to give up. It’s just a just a great program. There’s a lot of need out there. And you just you see somebody 50 to 52 times a year. It’s pretty easy to develop relationships,” said Smith.

Over the years Smith and 94-year-old Mary Bell have developed a close friendship during his weekly deliveries.

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“He’s part of the family. I enjoy him. I enjoy the chit chat that we have. And because he’s got to know that my family knows who he is, and his wife, Karen, you know, their family. And it means a lot to me,” said Mary.

Mary said the meals come in handy.

“Lots of nights I’ll sit here, and I’ll listen to the news, and I think, oh, gosh, it’s suppertime. What am I going to have? And I think, oh, I’ve got a couple of meals, always have a couple ahead. And it makes it just means I don’t have to get up and start working right away,” said Mary.

The manager of the Meals on Wheels of NMCAA said, Lisa Robitshek, said it’s more than a meal, its making people know that they’re cared about. It also serves as a safety check.

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“The people coming in to see them, sometimes we may be the only people that they may see for that day or days. Meals on Wheels is the single most thing that can help people stay independently in their home with dignity,” said Robitshek.

For more information on how to sign up for Meals on Wheels, how to volunteer, or for more information about the March for Meals fundraisers, please click on this link.

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