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March was a special month for Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels Rowan

March for Meals is a national campaign to provide visibility and encourage support for Meals on Wheels agencies across the U.S.

Locally, Meals on Wheels Rowan had the support of sponsors Tamarac Marina & Campground, Anne and Frank Saunders, Pinocchio’s Restaurant, Allergy Partners, Gerry Wood Auto, Tenderhearted Home Care, The Laurels of Salisbury, Jeter’s Deli Cafe, R&L Glover Enterprises and DJ’s Restaurant.

Throughout March, local restaurants participated in a Meals on Wheels Give Back promotion by donating part of their proceeds to Meals on Wheels Rowan.

DJ’s Restaurant, Sidewalk Deli and Sugar Fairy Sweet Shop participated one day every week in March. Single-day sponsors included Jimmy John’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery & Eatery, and Hotdog Shack in Granite Quarry.

The centerpiece of March for Meals was the 10th annual barbecue, with food from College Barbecue. More than 90 board members, staff members and volunteers staffed the drive-through, filled plates, sliced desserts, served beverages, sold tickets, packed insulated totes and delivered meals.

Volunteers prepared 1,904 plates and raised nearly $10,000.

Meals on Wheels provides more than 220 meals each weekday to seniors and disabled people across Rowan County. Volunteers deliver meals across 27 routes that extend from Cleveland and Mount Ulla to Gold Hill and Enochville.

The only requirements for receiving meals is that the individual be homebound and over 60 years old or disabled. Participants are asked to pay what they are able based on a sliding scale.

Grants and donations provide funding for 60 people who cannot afford to contribute to the cost of their meals. Another 47 people are on the waiting list for a subsidy.

Additional grants and donations finance the balance of the program’s meal costs.

March is also when the Rowan County Home Care Community Block Grant Committee determines funding for services in the coming year. In 2017-18, Meals on Wheels received its first federal, state and local funding of $24,000 from the that grant program.

Previously, 100 percent of Home Care and Community Block Grant nutrition funding for Rowan County went to the meal sites or lunch clubs provided by Rufty-Holmes Senior Center.

“We are grateful for funding from the block grant that makes more nutritious meals available to more homebound seniors,” said Cindy Fink, executive director of Meals on Wheels. “We hope that our efforts will position us to receive more of the nutrition funding available for Rowan County next year. The need for home-delivered meals is growing.”

March for Meals will kick off a year of new activities for Meals on Wheels Rowan. The next fundraiser will be a lobster sale. All orders must be received by May 1. Live or steamed lobsters will be available for pickup with or without fixings on May 6. For more information, go to www.mowrowan.org.

Meals on Wheels Rowan is a Rowan County United Way Member agency.

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