POMEROY — The Meigs County Council on Aging’s “March for Meals” is rolling right along towards its goal of raising $15,000 to support the home-delivered meal program for homebound seniors.
This year’s projected cost is $313,000, which covers the cost of preparing about a hundred meals a day and delivering them in the agency’s hotshot trucks around the county, Monday through Friday, along with serving some meals at the Senior Citizens Center.
To come up with funds to supplement what is received through the Older Americans Act, the Department of Agriculture, United Fund, other local agencies and organizations and some small contributions from recipients who are able to give, annual “March for Meals” fundraising projects are held.
To kickoff fundraising on March 1 , basket games were held at the Senior Center bringing in $4,000. Individuals, churches and other organizations have been making donations, and several businesses are sponsoring events in an effort to keep the program moving along.
Thursday, the annual spaghetti dinner and cake contest/auction will be held at the Senior Center. Tickets are $8 or tw0 for $15, and $5 for children 12 and under. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Center and the holder of those tickets will be included in a special door prize drawing that evening. Serving will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The cake contest winners will be announced at 6:15 p.m. and the cake auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. This year’s auctioneer is Jim Taylor. There is no fee for entering a cake. Competition cakes will be accepted at the Center on the day of the event until 3 p.m. There is no restriction on the number of cakes one individual may enter.
The categories are chocolate, fruit or vegetable, decorated, yellow or white and coffee, crumb or pound. All entries must have the entrant’s name on the bottom of the plate and should come with a short description of the cake to be read at the auction. Cakes should be on or in a disposable container.
There will be first and second place winners in each category with a grand champion, reserve champion, and director’s choice awards. Trophies will be awarded to all winners with monetary prizes going to the champions. Entry forms can be picked up at the Senior Center.
At the dinner tickets for door prizes will be sale. There will also be a MCCOA membership-only drawing for those holding current bronze, silver or gold MCCOA memberships. The prize is a Longaberger basket with ceramic dish and a Rada Cutlery set. Members must be present to win.
Beth Shaver, executive director, reports an average of 100 meals being delivered to seniors daily, adding that 3,522 meals were taken to homebound seniors in January and February. She reported that the average cost of a home delivered meal is nearly $15, when staff salaries, food, utilities, insurance, truck maintenance, gasoline, kitchen equipment maintenance and packaging supplies are taken into consideration. At the Center 1048 lunches were served in January and February, at an average cost to the agency of $10.
Shaver went on to explain that the money to pay for the program includes $34,000 in Older Americans Act dollars, around $3,000 from the Department of Agriculture, local sponsorships, contributions, MCCOA memberships, program income from the participants, fund raising, local government, co-pays, United Fund, and a local levy.It also includes the Senior Center’s earned income from bakery and catering events.
Total projected costs of home delivered meals for 2012 is over $313,000, said Shaver. The noon meal at the center for seniors is projected to cost over $73,000 this year, adding that $386,000 will be spent by the Center in 2012 for senior nutrition. This leaves $323,500.00 in local money needed to totally fund the nutrition program.
Money donated by the participants who receive the meals averages $.03 per meal for the home delivered meals, and $2.43 for the noon meal at the Center, according to the director.
She also noted that the Center is receiving a new HotShot truck this year to save gas money and repair costs on an older truck. Funding for that will come from the County Commissioners with a match of $10,000 from the Meigs County Council on Aging.
Businesses working to raise money include the Rivercity Sportsbar which sponsored a spaghetti dinner Sunday, the Home National Bank which will be holding basket games on April 19 at the Syracuse Community Center, and a “pin-up” program in local businesses. Donations to participate in the pin-up program are sold for $1 and Swisher & Lohse Pharmacy is offering a match for the money raise in the pinups project.