Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area and Shults Subaru in Jamestown are working together to attract new volunteers to Meals on Wheels and end senior hunger - and maybe even bring a new Subaru to the organization.
Through Jan. 2, anyone who test drives a new Subaru from Shults Subaru, 311 Washington St., Jamestown, will be eligible for a chance to win more than $100 in Subaru merchandise in a drawing to benefit Meals on Wheels. At the same time, people can learn about volunteer opportunities at the organization, and how Meals on Wheels is working to end senior hunger in America.
"Meals on Wheels is hoping to convince more individuals in the community who are thinking about buying a new Subaru, to get to Shults Subaru this month for a test drive," said Barrie Yochim, executive director of Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area. "After they take a test drive, they can learn how they can volunteer at Meals on Wheels, how we are working to feed our community's senior population and how they can take a chance to win some great Subaru prizes."
Barrie Yochim, left, executive director of Jamestown Meals on Wheels, and Darren Hills, Shults Subaru sales manager, display the Subaru merchandise the winner of the drawing will receive.
This local effort is part of the Meals on Wheels Association of America's participation in the national Subaru of America Inc. "Share the Love" Event.
The Subaru items to be given away by Meals on Wheels and Shults Subaru are two outdoor chairs, one zippered hoodie, three T-shirts, and two travel mugs. One winner for all of the items will be determined by drawing after the promotion ends on Jan. 2.
The Shults Auto Group, which includes Shults Subaru, has 15 new car franchises with factory-certified service centers, four Express Lube locations, three auto spas and two collision centers in southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.
Shults employs more than 400 people, and is an equal opportunity employer. For more information about Shults and Shults Subaru, visit shultsauto.com.
As one of the five Subaru "Share the Love" Event charitable partners, the Meals on Wheels Association of America is awarding $200,000 in "Share the Love" grants to local Meals on Wheels programs that partner with Subaru dealerships in the fight to end senior hunger. Jamestown Meals on Wheels is eligible to win a MOWAA-Subaru "Share the Love" grant of up to $35,000 to help provide nutritious meals to homebound seniors in Jamestown and southern Chautauqua County.
"Meals on Wheels already knows that it would buy a new Subaru vehicle if we are able to win the $35,000 grant," Yochim said. "That new vehicle would save the organization money, because we would be getting an older, and less fuel-efficient, delivery vehicle off the road. Any money saved, and any balance of the award not used to purchase the vehicle, will help Jamestown Meals on Wheels serve even more area seniors with home-delivered food, and prevent senior hunger in Chautauqua County."
"We are honored to be part of 'Share the Love' for a fifth straight year," said Larry J. Tomayko, Meals on Wheels Association of America interim chief executive officer. "Subaru recognizes the importance of giving back to the communities it serves. Working together, MOWAA and Subaru are helping to provide more than just a meal; we're bringing warmth and compassion to so many hungry and homebound seniors who would otherwise go without."
Over the past four years, proceeds from the Subaru "Share the Love" Event have provided money to MOWAA to support its vision to end senior hunger by 2020.
Yochim said he was impressed with the high number of individuals who purchase Subaru vehicles from Shults Subaru - more than 50 percent - after they take a test drive. Meals on Wheels wanted to take advantage of that audience.
"The people who would make the commitment to buy or lease their new vehicle would be the same type of people who would be committed enough to volunteer for Meals on Wheels," Yochim said.
That commitment this year means more than the voluntarism, he said.
"For every one of those people who buy or lease a Subaru, Subaru will donate $250 to one of five charities, including Meals on Wheels Association of America," Yochim said. "That's a lot of money donated from our community, to eventually help within our community."
Senior citizens can receive a heatable or a cold sandwich meal each day, or both, as needed from Jamestown Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels also provides frozen meals to be used on weekends, in some cases. The suggested cost for home delivery of one heatable meal and one cold meal is $8 per day. For either a heatable or cold meal, the suggested cost is $4.50 per day.
Meals on Wheels can keep its delivery costs low because it utilizes many volunteers who help deliver meals each day. Volunteer delivery routes, called satellite routes, are delivered in Jamestown, Lakewood, Falconer, Celoron and Fluvanna each day. Volunteers deliver more than 80 meals each day for Meals on Wheels. Some Meals on Wheels volunteers are from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
Some of these volunteer routes are available now for new volunteers, Yochim said. The routes are designed to allow a volunteer to deliver meals in a designed area within 30-45 minutes. Most volunteers deliver one day a week, every week.
If an individual 60 years old or older can't pay for meals from Meals on Wheels, or can pay only a small amount, the individual can still get meals. The Chautauqua County Office For the Aging provides Meals on Wheels funding for meals for individuals age 60 and older, if they qualify for the program.
Meals on Wheels also receives funding from United Way of Southern Chautauqua County and other individual contributors, which helps offset the meal cost for individuals who can't pay the full amount. WCA Hospital prepares meals for Meals on Wheels recipients in southern Chautauqua County from the hospital's Jones Memorial Health Center kitchen.
Any Chautauqua County senior citizen can receive home meal delivery, if the individual qualifies. Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area delivers to the southern half of Chautauqua County.
Sinclairville 76ers provides home-delivered meals to participants in the towns of Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Gerry and Ellington, and in Cassadaga, Stockton and Lily Dale. Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals to participants along the Lake Erie lakeshore from Brocton to Silver Creek, including the towns of Hanover and Villenova, and in Forestville.
For more information about Meals on Wheels, call 488-9119.