CLEBURNE — Meals on Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties is experiencing tremendous growth in the number of people receiving meals and is busy trying to stretch every dollar to make that happen.
During this fiscal year, Meals on Wheels has delivered 32,000 more meals than in the previous year. The meals are primarily funded by local donations, but 39 percent of the organization’s funding comes from federal funds. This year, the federal budget processes have been more complex than usual with the budget not being passed until this month. As a result, federal monies have slowed to a trickle and has forced Meals on Wheels to make some reductions to services.
“Our priority is delivering a nutritious lunch, Monday through Friday like we have for the past 40 years,” said Christine Hockin-Boyd, Executive Director. “No one will be cut from services and everyone we serve will continue to receive their lunch and a visit from our amazing volunteers,” she continued.
The reduction in services will happen in breakfast and weekend meals. Beginning next week, Meals on Wheels will deliver two breakfast meals instead of four, and weekend meals will be significantly reduced.
“This was a very tough decision, but it was necessary in order to stretch our funding as far as possible and be able to serve as many folks as we can,” Hockin-Boyd said.
Hockin-Boyd said one of the biggest challenges is the unknown. Even though Congress finally passed this year’s budget, next year’s funding is still up in the air. Meals on Wheels is doing its best to plan for that, and to ensure we have the funds necessary to do the work in our community that needs to be done.
Meals on Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties is a community-based organization focused on helping homebound elderly and disabled persons remain independent and healthy in their homes by providing nourishing meals, a friendly visit and a safety check. For more information about how to receive meals or volunteer to deliver, please contact Meals on Wheels at (817) 558-2840 or (972) 351-9943 or online at www.mowjec.org.