More neighbors are in need of nutritious meals
Our volunteers have noticed their delivery bags are getting a bit heavier and that there are a few more stops on their delivery routes. This is because we have seen an incredible increase in demand for our services over the past several months. Last October, we averaged 135 delivery meals each day - in June, we averaged 224 meals delivered each day. We have onboarded 264 new clients so far this year.
We are also seeing a significant decrease in the amount our clients are able to contribute toward the cost of their meals. Currently, 40% of our clients are on "emergency funding," meaning they are unable to contribute anything towards the cost of their meals. The average contribution is now $1.70 per meal, while it costs us $8.06 to produce each meal.
As costs continue to increase due to inflation, we expect that our numbers will continue to increase. The day the emergency SNAP benefits ended, we received several phone calls from current clients and community members who didn’t know how they were going to continue putting food on their table. One client called to cancel her meals and began crying when we told her we could move her to emergency funding, meaning she wouldn’t have to pay for her meals.
At Coal Creek Meals on Wheels, we believe that everyone deserves access to nutritious, affordable meals. Financial support from community partners ensures that we never have to turn away a neighbor in need due to their inability to pay.
John and Sarah
John and Sarah recently connected with Coal Creek Meals on Wheels through their Marshall Fire case worker. Their home had been completely destroyed during the fire, and they are currently living on their property in a 250 square foot RV.
Three months prior to the fire, Sarah was diagnosed with progressive dementia. This alone had been difficult for the couple, but losing their home made it even more difficult for John to care for Sarah. At 78, John has a hard time moving around and watching over Sarah, who has a tendency of escaping and getting lost. Because of this, they had to build a fence built around the RV to keep Sarah safe.
For the past year, John has been struggling to make meals for them both since Sarah was the main cook for the household. “We have been hungry for the last year,” John said when he called to sign up for meal deliveries. When our Client Services Manager told John we could provide two meals per day for both him and Sarah at no cost, he cried and said that he was “so grateful.” Now he can focus his time on caring for Sarah and rebuilding their home.