COVID Impacts Hannibal Nutrition Center Funding
The Hannibal Nutrition Center and its Meals on Wheels program needs your help to keep things rolling through the COVID-19 crisis. Like other non-profit groups, the Nutrition Center is limping by as funding falls short through this virus containment.There is a misconception that this is a "free meal program." The fact is that cumulative cuts over the decades means that only 30% of the center's funding comes from the government. The balance comes from grants and donations. However, with COVID, the HNC has lost the income of its two biggest fundraisers, putting the budget in a tight squeeze.
The HNC serves the elderly which is the most vulnerable population. Back in March, the center had to shut down its congregate meal program where about 100 people a day come to eat and visit during the lunch hour.
"For my regulars, this is a really hard time; they want to be with friends," said HNC Administrator Margee Tucker. "They keep on asking when we are going to re-open. The answer of course, is when we can do it safely. Our main priority is the safety of all of our wonderful friends that come to enjoy a meal. I really miss the noise and laughter that comes from the dining room at noon."
While the drive-through meals have continued throughout the contagion, the number of people taking advantage of that has dropped off. " Drive thru numbers were really strong at first but I believe there are two reasons why they are now down. With everything being open, people want to get out and be with friends. Second, with COVID numbers on the rise, more people are staying in completely."
If you'd like to help out the Hannibal Nutrition Center, click here for contact information.