Grants are awarded to Meals on Wheels program
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Meals on Wheels program has received three grants to help expand its capacity. The program, which is operated as a community service by West Central Industries Job Link, was awarded $50,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation, ...
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Meals on Wheels program has received three grants to help expand its capacity.
The program, which is operated as a community service by West Central Industries Job Link, was awarded $50,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation, $50,000 from the Mardag Foundation and $5,000 from the Willmar Area Community Foundation.
The grant awards are "a real shot in the arm" at helping Meals on Wheels increase its ability to serve clients, said Jamin Johnson-Schneider, community relations specialist for West Central Industries.
"It's a win-win program. People who volunteer feel good about it and the people who receive meals feel good about the service," she said.
All three of the foundations funded the grant requests in full, she said.
West Central Industries is in the midst of a two-year, $2 million project to update and expand its program space, including the Meals on Wheels facility.
Increasing numbers of seniors living in their own homes has led to a greater need for Meals on Wheels. Last year the program delivered 27,000 meals in the Willmar area, and officials say it is outgrowing its capacity.
The kitchen at West Central Industries, where the meals are prepared, will gain 3,000 square feet once the expansion is complete. The kitchen also is being redesigned to increase its efficiency and updated with new equipment.
West Central Industries is funding $500,000 of the kitchen expansion out of its own budget. The remainder will come from a combination of community and foundation support.
About $106,000 has been raised so far from foundation grants and another $77,500 from community donations, Johnson-Schneider said. The goal is to raise $150,000 in grants and $150,000 in donations. Applications are pending for additional grants.