City donates $3,000 to Meals on Wheels

Charles Warner Editor

October 20, 2013

UNION — A group that delivers meals to the needy of Union and Buffalo still needs more financial assistance even after receiving a $3,000 donation from the City of Union.

Meals on Wheels is an organization composed of 60-65 volunteers who in 2012 delivered 26,155 meals or more than 2,000 a month to the residents of the 11 delivery routes in Buffalo and Union served by the group. The number of meals delivered included meals delivered to two daycare operations the group provides assistance to.

Even though its members are all unpaid volunteers, the group is nevertheless struggling financially and recently appealed to Union City Council for funding.

The appeal was in the form of a letter to council from Meals on Wheels chair Lynne Mornance, vice chair Kathy Stepp, and treasurer Jim Stepp.

In their letter, Mornane and the Stepps state that “we come to you with an urgent appeal for help.”

The letter describes Meals on Wheels as “an all volunteer organization dedicated to serving residents in Union and Buffalo. These residents are screened to determine need and approved on that basis. This program has been working fine for 30 years with the help of donors from the community and grants petitioned from outside charity groups and business partnerships.”

It further states the group currently receives “limited funds from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Other donors include church groups and gifts in honor and memory. Each year we have fund raising activities to enhance our finances. One such fundraiser is sponsored by Midway Barbeque and has netted us $1,000 per year. We also participate in Bilo Booster Plus and Belk Charity Days.”

Despite this, the letter states “we still find our funds insufficient to meet the needs of our clients. During the first eight months of the year, we served 14,754 meals at a cost of $52,445 with receipts of $46,434. This was a shortfall of $6,000. We need another $750 per month to break even.”

Mornane and the Stepps asked council to fund the organization in the amount of the $6,000 shortfall.

Council responded to the letter and a presentation by Kathy Stepp during its Tuesday meeting by voting unanimously to donate $3,000 to Meals on Wheels.

“We are just excited that they saw fit to give us the $3,000,” Stepp said Friday. “We just hope we will be able to reach out to other government bodies and local businesses so that we can keep ahead of our budget for the rest of the year.”

Stepp said that the $3,000 will help cover the costs of approximately two weeks of the group’s operations. She said the group is working on upcoming fundraisers including its annual fundraiser with Midway. In addition, she said that Mornane plans to offer tours of the Nicholson Mansion during the holidays as a means of raising funds for the group.

In their letter, Mornane and the Stepps also asked council to remember the group’s needs during their budget deliberations.

“It is then our hope that during your budget meetings that you give much thought to offering incentive to your employees to pledge even one meal a week in the coming year at the current cost of $3.25 a meal. This would be a wonderful and affordable gift to the community in which we all could find ourselves in the future.”

Anyone who wants to make a donation to Meals on Wheels may do so by sending it to Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 951, Union, S.C. 29379.

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com