DOVER — The Modern Maturity Center has found a creative way to help support its Meals on Wheels of Kent County volunteers who serve homebound adults in the community.
The center is conducting a cash raffle to give supporters the chance to win $10,000. Tickets, at a donation of $100 each, are limited to 500.
There will be only one winner — the $10,000 raffle ticket.
Carolyn Fredricks, president of the Modern Maturity Center, will draw the winning ticket on Thursday, Sept. 1.
“This is our first $10,000 cash raffle,” said Lori Christiansen, director of program development for the Modern Maturity Center. “The purpose of the raffle is to raise funds for our volunteer Meals on Wheels drivers to help offset the rising costs of gas.
“While volunteers receive mileage reimbursement, it does not cover the increased costs at the pump. Some of our volunteers gave up their routes because of the increase in gas prices.”
Meals for Wheels volunteers have faced challenges after gas prices peaked at nearly $5 per gallon earlier this summer and currently hover around $3.86 per gallon.
The center offers reimbursement money to its Meals on Wheels drivers, but at 55 cents a mile, it isn’t enough to break even.
For many, their ability to volunteer is being increasingly jeopardized by the consistently high prices at the pump.
“We borrowed the (raffle) idea from Brother Ronald (Giannone) at the Ministry of Caring,” Ms. Christiansen said. “Most people who have purchased tickets say, regardless of whether they win, it is for a great cause.
“The odds are better than buying a lottery ticket. The last day to buy a ticket is Wednesday, Aug. 31, and the drawing will take place at noon on Thursday, Sept. 1.”
Ms. Fredricks said everyone appreciates the service the volunteers provide and wanted to help them by putting on the raffle.
“This is the first time we have ever had a raffle to support mileage for Meals on Wheels volunteers,” she said. “We have been giving them gift cards and also increased their mileage reimbursement this month.”
To purchase raffle tickets, call 302-734-1200 ext. 167 or stop by Modern Maturity Center Member Services from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
For more information, email Lori.Christiansen@modern-maturity.org. The Modern Maturity Center is located at 1121 Forrest Ave. in Dover.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Modern Maturity Center never stopped serving vulnerable older adults in the community.
In 2021, they served nearly a half-a-million meals.
“The goal of the Meals on Wheels program has always remained the same: keeping that older person in their home,” Ms. Fredricks said. “Studies have proven that older adults who remain in their home environment live longer and save money because that meal and other in-home services are a lot less expensive than the possible alternative — a nursing home.”
Meals on Wheels is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Volunteers for the Modern Maturity Center combine to serve more than 300,000 meals a year to older adults in the county.
And at the pandemic’s peak, they were cooking 2,500 meals per day and performing 3,000 wellness checks each month.
“This is the 50th anniversary of Meals on Wheels, and it’s a great idea,” Mayor Christiansen said. “It connects people who can’t come to the Modern Maturity Center with a meal and somebody checking to make sure that they’re OK.”
Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America, said it is important to support the volunteers who are the backbone of the program.
“With the nation’s senior population increasing dramatically, now is the time to support local Meals on Wheels programs — through volunteering, donating and speaking out — to ensure we are able to deliver for another 50 years,” Ms. Hollander said.
To learn more about volunteering for Meals on Wheels at the Modern Maturity Center, call volunteer coordinator Trudie Clay at 302-734-1200 ext. 119.