Meals on Wheels in northwest Alabama is in dire need of donations

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FLORENCE, Ala. -- A group of residents-in-need across Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin counties may have some of their food services cut by mid-October. Meals on Wheels of Northwest Alabama is having a budget crisis and are facing some tough decisions.

With smiles on their face, volunteers deliver meals to home-bound residents each day of the week. Meals on Wheels provides meals for a portion of the population who may not otherwise have anything to eat.

“It’s community taking care of their brother and sister; the community that has always stepped up and done what needs to be done. So that’s what we are asking now, is just to continue what we have been doing for over 40-years,” explained Executive Director Tammy McDaniel of the Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama.

Donations have plummeted. McDaniel said consistent giving has fallen off over the last eight months.

That’s forcing Meals on Wheels to take money from their reserve account. It’s an account which doesn’t have enough funding to sustain Meals on Wheels long-term. Crunching the numbers, the first part of the service likely to be cut will be weekend meals.

“We would have to cut the services of the weekend meals and determine whether or not that would keep us on a level where we could sustain the Monday through Friday,” McDaniel stated.

With meals costing just $3.30 a day, the agency is hoping northwest Alabama will step up and get them through the rest of the year. One hundred and sixty-two clients are served by the Meals on Wheels program each day.

The Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama needs about $12,000 a month to sustain the Meals on Wheels program. Fifty percent of their operational funds come through private donations from the public.

Donations can be made through the agency's website.