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Funding woes result in Mobile Meals waiting list

6:25 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
Mobile Meals Manager Alison Taylor (right) helps pack meals for clients that day.
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For the first time in four years, there is a waiting list for senior citizens to get food through Mobile Meals.

The program needs to raise at least $250,000 before the end of its fiscal year in June.

Mobile Meals Manager Alison Taylor said funding is down from last year.

Since January, the waiting list to get Mobile Meals has grown to 69.

Mobile Meals went from delivering 900 meals per day to homebound seniors, to 850 meals.

Seniors who went off the program were never replaced.

"It's been one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life," Taylor said.

Taylor adds about 10 people to the waiting list every week.

"We go home knowing we're doing great stuff; now we go home at night and we worry about the people we've got on our waiting list," Taylor said.

The waiting list could grow in July; sequestration is expected to affect Mobile Meals.

"We do know that we're probably okay until June. Then we'll probably feel it and it's liable to hit hard," Taylor said.

Even though fundraising is down, demand is up.

"We're getting about 10,000 seniors a day [in the nation] who are becoming over 65. So that generation is growing rapidly," Judith Pelot said, a Mobile Meals nutritionist.

Geraldine Mayo, 89, has relied on Mobile Meals for about 7 years.

"If anybody ever went through it, they would understand that they need all the help they can get," Mayo said.

Her daughter, Jenny Griggs, went on to say, "Tragic, tragic, because I don't think they have a single one on the list now that they could cut."

Taylor said it will not cut anyone on the program but she is unsure when Mobile Meals can take seniors off the waiting list.

Those interested in helping Mobile Meals can go to: or call (865) 524-2786.

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