North Minneapolis Meals on Wheels in Need of Cash

Updated: 11/02/2012 8:38 PM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

Suzanne Jones and Tyra Fork worked Friday to pack up meals for the North Minneapolis Meals on Wheels program. On the menu? Steak and gravy, scalloped potatoes and green beans.

Once the meals are packed Jones and Fork wheel them down toward the drivers. On Friday, there are nine routes. Each driver delivers 25 to 45 meals to 164 people.

Driver Harold Lewis' first stop is Linda Williams' house. Williams has been on the program for three years. She says, if it wasn't for Meals on Wheels, she wouldn't eat sometimes.

"Sometimes I don't have food or food stamps to buy food. So it means a great deal, at least I can eat once a day," Williams said.

But all of this hard work and generosity could soon disappear.

"Right now we need $30,000 to keep our doors open" North Minneapolis Meals on Wheels head Denise Mwasyeba said.

The North Minneapolis Meals on Wheels' budget is roughly $300,000 a year. They are funded by the federal government through the "Older Americans Act," and by Hennepin County.

Mwasyeba says the problem is they never get enough money to cover the entire cost of a meal.

"We get $6.07 from Hennepin County per meal. And we get $6.30 from the government. Our actual cost runs more like $8.00 a meal," Mwasyeba said.

She says, for every meal that goes out they are seeking a $1.50 in funding to support it. If a funding shortage forces them to close, she says, it would affect hundreds of folks in need every day.

If you would like to donate to North Minneapolis Meals on Wheels call 612-522-7335 or click here.

Plus, Meals on Wheels is having a comedy benefit featuring Andy Erikson, Tim Harmston, and Chad Daniels at the Acme Comedy Club. To buy tickets call (612) 277-2529.