I invite members of the Hall County Board of Commissioners to ride along with me while I make my Meals On Wheels deliveries. Share with me the experience of interacting with some of the recipients of this service. For many this lunchtime fare is the only healthful, nutritional meal they will see that day.
And sadly, there is a waiting list of more than 100 residents who qualify for the program, but for whom the funding is just not there. Meals On Wheels is volunteer-driven; from those who carry the prepared meals from the kitchen facilities at the Community Service Center to pick up points for the drivers, to those drivers who make their rounds five days a week. More than 230 men and women give of their time and energy to perform these and other tasks.
However, there is a need for funding for the small staff, facilities, food, etc. The Hall County commission is one of the governmental entities involved in funding this much-needed, 42-year-old program. But for some reason commissioners have been reluctant to provide the county’s roughly 10 percent share of the Meals On Wheels annual budget of more than $500,000.
Commissioners deserve credit for using tax revenues to attract business and industry to Hall County. They create jobs, help reduce unemployment and generate even more tax revenue. But the commission has an obligation to protect those who find themselves in poor health and in need of a helping hand, through no fault of their own.
I urge the Hall County commission to embrace, and fully fund, our local Meals On Wheels program. Come ride with me and see why that will be a good investment in our county.
C. Randall Murray