Meals on Wheels: Better to give than receive
Recently, I had privilege of visiting with senior citizens by going door to door to deliver Meals on Wheels. For those of you who are not aware of what Meals on Wheels of Summerville has been doing for over thirty years, please allow me to extol the virtues of the organizations' 200 volunteers, their dedicated board, and their Executive Director Betsy Luke. I would be remiss if I did not thank my own mother-in-law, Virgie Horne, for her volunteer service with the organization. Each week Meals on Wheel of Summerville delivers 150 hot, nutritious meals to senior citizens in Summerville.
On my route, I met some amazing senior citizens who have contributed to their communities in various ways. They include retired executives, civil servants, war veterans, teachers – all of whom gave to their community during their working years. What a privilege it was for me to converse with these remarkable and interesting retirees. For many of these retirees, receiving a home delivered hot meal is a the only way they can live independently in their homes surrounded by their family and friends and avoid the extreme cost of nursing home care. It was indeed a pleasure to witness charity work at its best. Summerville Meals on Wheels, run entirely on private donations, is a beacon for non-profits. The only regret that I hear from their volunteers is that they cannot serve more seniors.
In Dorchester County, 1800 seniors live below the poverty level which is around $11,000 per year. This doesn't take into account the number of seniors that have to spend a disproportionate amount of their disposable income on medications and healthcare. For a homebound senior unable to drive, it is very difficult to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet unless they are blessed with friends and family members to assist them. Good nutrition is key to maintaining good health in seniors who are most vulnerable to chronic illness and disease.
This past month of March, Meals on Wheels of Summerville participated in a national campaign designed to end senior hunger. If you contributed or volunteered during the month of March we commend and thank you for what you do. It takes about $15,000 per month to feed 150 seniors. With more resources, Meals on Wheels of Summerville could reach its noble goal of eradicating senior hunger in Dorchester County.
If you are looking for a way to give back to your community, I recommend volunteering with Meals on Wheels of Summerville. If you are looking for a worthy charitable tax deduction, please consider giving to the organization or join me in taking part in their upcoming golf fundraiser at Legend Oaks. Any amount can make a difference. It costs just under $5 per meal to feed a senior and the social impact is tremendous. The warmth that I experienced on my day of delivering meals was uplifting and inspiring. It is truly better to give than to receive. In order to learn more about Meals on Wheels or their upcoming events please call Leah Odom at 843 873-8224 or visit their website at www.mealsonwheels.org.
*US Census data www.census.gov
Rep. Jenny Horne serves in the S.C. House of Representatives from District 94.