Raising community awareness

By: By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com

UNION — Nearly 40 years after it began providing meals to the needy of Union and Buffalo Union County Meals on Wheels now has its own logo, its on website, and is on social media.

Meals on Wheels Secretary Jami Trammell announced this week the group’s governing board had selected a logo composed of plates, eating utensils, a Palmetto tree, the organization’s name, and the year it was established. Trammell said this is the first logo Meals on Wheels has had in its 37-year existence. She said the board decided to get a logo for Meals on Wheels in order to increase public awareness of it and the services it provides.

“Union County Meals on Wheels began in 1979 and has been officially recognized as a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization since September 29, 1989,” Trammell said. “Even though we’ve been organized since 1979 we’ve never had a logo until now.

“We know that logos are important, that branding is important,” she said. “We need people to have something to see that will make them go ‘Oh, that’s Meals on Wheels.’ Having a logo is about raising community awareness.”

Trammell said the logo was designed by Showcase Marketing in Greenville which donated it to Meals on Wheels.

As important as the logo is, Trammell said it is only one part of the group’s larger effort to promote public awareness of it and its service to the community.

“Once we established a logo we could all live with, we wanted to establish a website followed by social media,” Trammell said. “We now have our website (www.mealsonwheelsunionsc.com) up and running. People can go there and read the history of Union County Meals on Wheels. They can see the volunteers and even some of our clients are represented. They can get information on how to be a volunteer or how to sign up for Meals on Wheels. They can also stay abreast of events we are planning. They can even donate from the website.”

In addition to setting up its own website, Trammell said that Meals on Wheels is increasing its presence on social media. She said the group is expanding its Facebook reach and is also on Instagram.

Trammell said that the board members and volunteers of Meals on Wheels are hoping that its logo, its website, and its expanding presence on social media will help build public support for the group which relies completely on sponsorships, donations, and fundraisers for its funding.

The financial challenges Meals on Wheels faces were addressed in April by Vice Chairman Kathy Stepp who pointed out that the group is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to serving residents in Union and Buffalo. Stepp said Meals on Wheels’ goal is to serve one hot meal a day, five days a week to needy persons who have applied and met the group’s needs criteria. Stepp said that during 2015 Meals on Wheels served 17,859 meals at a cost of more than $74,000 or approximately $6,200 per month. She said that 99 percent of the group’s budget went to procure meals, with the rest going for mailing and postage.

As of April of this year, Stepp said Meals on Wheels was delivering nearly 1,500 meals per month at a cost of approximately $5,900 per month. She said that Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver meals along a total of 10 routes in the Union and Buffalo areas serving approximately 75 people a day.

Stepp added that the meals are prepared by the Union Medical Center at a cost of $3.59 per meal.

Even though the group has very little overhead beyond the cost of the meals it delivers, Stepp said its yearly costs had still exceeded the funds it received from private donations and/or raised through fundraising activities. Stepp said that the group’s yearly costs of $74,800 was $11,000 more than the $63,000 in donations it had received and other funds raised.

Stepp urged the public to support Meals on Wheels, pointing out that the group doesn’t just provide food but companionship to the people they serve. She said that Meals on Wheels volunteers are often the only people their clients see during the day and that there had even been instances where volunteers discovered clients were ill and called in medical assistance for them.

For more information about Union County Meals on Wheels and/or to make a contribution in support of its efforts, call 864-427-1598 or go online at www.mealsonwheelsunionsc.com.

Meals on Wheels now has logo, website

By Charles Warner


Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.