UNION — An all-volunteer group that delivers meals to the needy of two communities got some help in carrying out its mission from a very generous supporter.
The Union County Meals on Wheels Charity Gala was held Saturday evening at Main Street Junction in downtown Union. An evening of music, dancing, and food that featured a silent auction, the Gala was the first of a series of fundraisers the group plans to hold this year to raise funds to help it meet the costs of delivering food to the needy of Buffalo and Union.
Saturday’s fundraising event got a boost when Barbara Rippy presented the Meals on Wheels Board with a check for $10,000.
The donation was welcomed by Meals on Wheels Secretary Jami Trammell who thanked Rippy for her support of the group.
“Miss Barbara Rippy is a great neighbor to have,” Trammell said Friday. “She is always a very generous supporter of what is positive in the community. She is a great supporter of Meals on Wheels and we are grateful for her generosity.”
Trammell said that, in addition to Rippy’s generous donation, the Charity Gala was a sold out success. She said the results of the gala are still being tallied and will be announced next week.
Meals on Wheels is an all-volunteer group that relies on private donations like Rippy’s and fundraising events like the Charity Gala to enable it to achieve its goal of serving one hot meal a day five days a week to needy persons who have applied and met the group’s need criteria. During 2015, the all-volunteer group served 17,859 meals at a cost of $6,200 per month. The volunteers deliver meals along 10 routes in the Union and Buffalo communities serving approximately 75 people a day. The meals they deliver are prepared by the Union Medical Center at a cost of $3.59 per meal.
The group uses 99 percent of its budget to purchase the meals it delivers with the rest used for mailing and postage.
Even though it has little cost beyond the price of the food it delivers to the needy, Meals on Wheels has had to struggle this year to raise the funds needed to meet its costs. In April, Meals on Wheels Vice President Kathy Stepp reported that the group’s yearly costs were $74,000 or $11,000 more than the $63,000 in donations it had received and other funds raised.
To help cover those costs, Meals on Wheels is holding a series of fundraising events beginning with last Saturday’s charity gala.
The next event will be the “Miles for Meals” 5K Charity Run which will be held Sept. 17. The run is being sponsored by Meals on Wheels with the local Brat Pack.
This will be followed with a Christmas Tour of Homes on Dec. 3.
For more information about Meals on Wheels, the services it provides, its upcoming fundraisers, and/or to make a contribution in support of its efforts call 864-427-1598 or go online at www.mealsonwheelsunionsc.com.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.