There’s been a lot of media attention over the past week about Meals on Wheels, government funding and serving those in our community who need it most. Here are the facts to help break down the story.
Tabitha Meals on Wheels celebrates 50 years of service in 2017. The program remains the only of its kind in the Lincoln community delivering a nutritious meal to those in need. Over 4 million meals have been delivered throughout the program’s 50 years of service, including 500+ each day, 356 days a year, rain or shine. Over 1,000 yearly volunteers deliver the meals in every neighborhood of the Lincoln community.
In a recent survey of Tabitha Meals on Wheels recipients:
- 91% said they relied on delivered meals to remain in their home.
- 44% said the delivery volunteer was always or usually the only person they saw during the day.
- 77% said they have a physical disability that inhibits their ability to purchase or prepare their own food.
It costs Tabitha $6.25 to prepare, package and coordinate the delivery of a single meal. As a non-profit, Christian-centered organization, that’s our costs, no profits are made. At $6.25, the cost of a delivered meal may not seem like a lot, but over 70% of meal recipients cannot afford the cost of a meal.
Tabitha has made a commitment to the Lincoln community to continue to provide delivered meals to those in need, regardless of their financial situations. We’ve made that decision because we care about the dignity of the hundreds of older and disabled adults who rely on this meal to stay in their homes.
For those unable to afford the full cost of their meal, donations from generous donors help make up the shortfall. Additionally, a portion of funding comes from Health and Human Services (HHS) Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, which was recently targeted to be cut by 17.9%. Any cuts to this specific program would be a big mistake and would negatively impact the community and the 500 Lincoln are residents who have come to rely on this lifeline service.
Tabitha Meals on Wheels already depends heavily on generous private donors to help provide meals for our friends and neighbors in need. Reductions of any kind would be detrimental to our community.
We appreciate support and advocacy to help reduce the negative impact these cuts would have on our community’s most vulnerable residents.
Here’s how you can help:
Give - just $6 can make a difference to someone in need. Learn more at Tabitha.org/Meals.
Advocate - follow our social pages, just search for “Tabitha Health” on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Share our Meals on Wheels-related posts on your own profile to show how you #StandUpForMeals.
Volunteer - Over 1,000 volunteers each year help keep this program going. Delivering meals can be a fun family or team activity and can be done in under two hours. Volunteer for a regular route or join our as-needed list. Sign up to volunteer.
Learn more about the impact of Tabitha Meals on Wheels at Tabitha.org/Meals.