MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Meals on Wheels in the Twin Cities serves 2,000 meals, mostly to seniors every day, but until the past few weeks they have never had their own kitchen.
Now as part of a partnership with Open Arms, another non-profit, they are making their own meals. It’s a move that will eventually save money and allow them to serve more people in need.
As they do every day, Metro Meals on Wheels arrives at 84-year-old Dan Thompson’s south Minneapolis home.
“It’s wonderful,” Thompson said.
The delivery includes a meal to be heated later, milk, fruit and a slice of pie. For Dan, whose wife passed away four years ago, the program is a lifeline.
“It’s a big deal. It’s so important,” he said.
Dan’s meal came from Meals on Wheels’ new south Minneapolis kitchen. By no longer contracting out meal preparation, the organization says the eventual savings will be $200,000 a year. That would allow the program to expand just as the senior population here is expected to triple.
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The savings also comes as President Donald Trump is promising to cut Community Development Block Grants, which are five percent of the Metro Meals on Wheels budget. Medicaid waivers provide more federal funding.
“It’s a reality. We have had threats to Meals on Wheels in the past,” Executive Director Patrick Rowan said.
Rowan says all non-profits can do is plead their case.
“I want people to know how important it is to people like Dan. When you get out there and deliver and you see the smile on their face and the gratitude that they have. It’s really why we come to work every day,” Rowan said.
Meals on Wheels says while they are keeping an eye on federal budget cuts, they are less threatened than programs in other states. They say that is because people in Minnesota are so generous with their donations.