Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County asks for community support after state decreases funding

dfwnewsa | February 1, 2024 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County asks for community support after state decreases funding

Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County delivers meals to older adults who are homebound and physically or mentally unable to prepare meals for themselves. (Courtesy photo | Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County)
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Philip Gonzalez loves hearing about the smiling faces of Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County clients when they receive a meal and a visit from a volunteer.

Gonzalez, marketing specialist for the Tarrant County branch, knows a lot of the organization’s 7,000-plus clients rely on it for food accessibility. 

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Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County delivers meals to those who are homebound and physically or mentally unable to prepare meals for themselves. The organization is prepared to maintain its meal services throughout 2024 — but with less funding than last year.

The nonprofit organization provides other services, too, including reviewing medications, nutrition education, feeding companion pets, minor home repairs and providing products such as walkers. 

“A lot of our clients are disabled and don’t have a lot of family,” Gonzalez said. “They rely on us and our volunteers to make their day a little better.” 

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Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County has been awarded an annual grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture since 2007. But this year, the nonprofit received $877,369, which is $112,050 less than the $989,419 granted in 2023. 

In 2022, Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County was granted $1,723,102.

“We have received the funding from (Texas Department of Agriculture) since they started giving out this grant, and it’s something we look forward to getting annually,” said Gonzalez. “Even though the amount is great, we’re going to have to make up that shortfall.” 

The grant is awarded as part of the department’s Texans Feeding Texans: Home-Delivered Meal Grant Program, which provides funding to meal providers across the state that serve homebound older adults and disabled Texans. The program was created during the 80th legislative session in 2007.  

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This year, the Texas Department of Agriculture awarded about $9.6 million to 120 meal providers. The amount awarded is calculated by examining the number of eligible meals an organization delivered the previous fiscal year. 

Meals on Wheels receives about 59% of its funding from a variety of government sources and 41% from community donations. 

The organization plans to focus on its community fundraising efforts to make up the remaining amount, said Gonzalez. 

“Anytime we get a grant, we’re not guaranteed the number from the previous year,” he said. “Operations will run as normal. We’ll make up that $112,000 difference through other funding that is out there.” 

Interested in donating to Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County?

Call 817-336-0912 or donate directly by clicking here.

David Moreno is the health reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His position is supported by a grant from Texas Health Resources. Contact him at david.moreno@fortworthreport.org or @davidmreports on X, formerly known as Twitter.

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. 

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