Heather Prenty, a Meals on Wheels driver, loads several meals into her vehicle Thursday morning (Oct. 4). (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels loses annual funding grant

Registered charity delivers to about 100 clients in Surrey, North Delta

Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheel, a registered charity, is looking to the community for help after losing a funding grant that has left a “significant hole in its budget.”

Christine Morettin, Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels administrator said about 100 clients in Surrey (excluding South Surrey) and North Delta rely on Meals on Wheels to deliver fresh meals every day.

Fraser Health Authority, according to a news release, funds most of the charity’s operations, but Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels also relied on the Community Gaming Grants Branch.

The release adds that the charity did not receive the grant this year “due to its contract with the health authority, despite no change in circumstances.”

“That’s left the charity with a budget shortfall of $15,000.”

The contract with Fraser Health, according to Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels, provides about $61,000 annually which covers the charity’s payroll costs.

This is the first year the local Meals on Wheels has not received the community grant. Morettin said the charity has been receiving the grant for at least the past eight years.

Morettin said without the grant, the charity could potentially close.

“It’s not like we’re broke, but if we don’t get funding, we have to close. Who wants to do that when you have 100 clients that you serve? What are they going to do?”

Because of the budget shortfall, the charity has been forced to charge its clients more for meals. According to the release, this is the first increase in five years.

“Given the nature of its clients and goal to provide affordable meal options, additional price increases are not practical.”

Morettin said Meals on Wheels has had to make some cutbacks. Those cutbacks, she said, are in office equipment and in the boxes to deliver the food.

She said the computer system is old and a new photocopier is “badly” needed.

Morettin also said the Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels needs about three more boxes of Styrofoam boxes which are used to carry meals in.

She said the three boxes would cost about $1,000 as each Styrofoam box costs $25.

“We use them until they’re just done (like) when they don’t seal properly anymore,” said Morettin, adding that they stop using the boxes once there are “chunks of Styrofoam falling out.”

Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels has been serving the communities since 1970 when it was incorporated under the Society Act.

Donations can be made to Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels through its website at sndmow.com or CanadaHelps.org or by cheque to #332-7360 137th St., Surrey, V3W 2G9.

All donations are tax deductible and donors will be issued a tax receipt.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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