Feb. 23, 2019
By Claire Tadokoro
Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit was one of the many nonprofit organizations that received a grant from Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation (GLHF) on February 11. They will use their $5,000 allotment to continue to assist elderly and disabled Lee’s Summit residents with daily lunch.
“In addition to having a familiar face greet them each day, these balanced meals, prepared by Lee’s Summit Medical Center meet all individual dietary needs,” said Board Chair Susie Newsam . Examples include low sodium or heart-healthy options.
“Our mission statement reflects the organization in that we deliver hot, nutritious meals in order to give elderly and disabled residents of Lee’s Summit a more independent lifestyle and the ability to remain in their own home.”
The partnership between Meals on Wheels of LS and Lee’s Summit Medical Center is a crucial one. Lee’s Summit Medical Center donates its food and nutrition services team, kitchen and resources to prepare the meals that are delivered each day by the 70 Meals on Wheels volunteers who use their own vehicles and time to transport the food.
This combined effort led to the 500,000th meal being delivered in November of 2018.
“Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit has been such an integral part of our community for many years, providing nutritious meals to those who may need it most. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them for another 500,000 meals,” says Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Chief Executive Officer, John McDonald.
GLHF’s grant came at a good time for Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit as they continue to expand their services.
“We receive no state or federal funding and all financial assistance is local private donations and grants,” Newsam said. “Financial support is an ongoing need for Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit to keep pace and grow in the community providing a good hot meal each day. While clients pay a nominal fee, others are subsidized if they cannot pay. Recently, we have had additional operating expenses as the cost of food and kitchen service fees have increased.
“We appreciate the local support from GLSHF to the Lee’s Summit community for the health and well-being of its citizens.”
While the demand is great, volunteers like Newsam have found it extremely rewarding.
Newsam started delivering Meals on Wheels in July of 2010 and has been extremely involved with the organization since. In addition to being the current board chair, she is also a weekday day captain and route manager. Even her then 2-year old grandson helped deliver food for four years until he started kindergarten.
Kay Kilngbeil, an Executive Board Member for Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit accepted the grant on the nonprofit’s behalf. She has volunteered with the program for over ten years and has been writing grants for the past two years.
The Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation awarded $83,231 in total for 2019.
Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit, Inc. was established by Lois Elbel and Linda Dempsey in 1974. Both women remain involved with the organization today. For information about Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit, call 816-743-4400.
The primary function of GLSHF is to provide grants and scholarships while protecting the core assets of the Foundation. You can find them online at https://www.healthyleessummit.org.