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Meals on Wheels offers deal on Giving Tuesday

SALISBURY — Giving Tuesday is a global celebration of generosity held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. At midnight this Tuesday, anyone around the world can make a gift to a participating nonprofit group such as Meals on Wheels Rowan.

“For organizations like ours, Giving Tuesday gives us a chance to talk about our mission and why we care so much about the work that we do. Our mission is to provide nutritious meals that our volunteers deliver to homebound seniors across Rowan County,” said Tom Robinson, president of Meals on Wheels Rowan.

The average American spends $232 a month on meals prepared outside the home. Most of those meals cost more than $8 each. On Giving Tuesday, Meals on Wheels Rowan is promoting “Five for Forty” — a $40 donation will provide five meals for a homebound senior.

“One of the benefits of Giving Tuesday is that we can reach potential donors who like using the internet and who respond to social media posts. We can reach millennials who may not have ever given to a cause like Meals on Wheels,” said Cindy Fink, executive director.

“And occasionally, we get a donor who wants to become a volunteer,” Fink said. “All contributions come directly to Meals on Wheels Rowan when you select the “#GivingTuesday” tab on our website at www.mowrowan.org/givingtuesday. Being generous can make us happier, it can make a difference in the world, and it inspires generosity in others.”

More than 1,000 volunteers across the county deliver meals during the year. Volunteers get a firsthand look at senior adults who cannot leave their homes except for medical appointments or who cannot stand to prepare a nutritious meal for themselves. Many participants live alone and would not see or talk to another human being all day without a visit from a Meals on Wheels volunteer, said Robinson.

Rowan County has more seniors age 60 or older than children ages 1 to 17, he said, and the number of seniors is growing.

Every participant can contribute to the cost of meals based on a sliding scale of $1 to $7. But for those who can’t pay, the Meals on Wheels board reserves 25% of available spaces. Currently, the agency serve 235 or more participants each day, and next year it hopes to serve 275 each day.

“The need is growing,” Fink said. “We receive approximately 60 referrals each month. After participant contributions, we still need to raise nearly $438,000 to feed 275 participants for one year.”