Community helps fund local Meals on Wheels

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COLUMBIA - Meals on Wheels of Columbia started its annual Big Wheels fundraiser Monday.

JoNetta Weaver, executive director for Meals on Wheels of Columbia, said Meals on Wheels aims to provide hot, nutritious meals to seniors in Columbia.  The organization is 100 percent locally funded, and Big Wheels is its primary fundraiser.

"We bring a boxed lunch to the businesses of Columbia, so we've been reaching out to a lot of our businesses and been giving them an opportunity to purchase lunch menu meals for us," Weaver said.

Meals on Wheels partnered with Panera for Big Wheels this year, and the lunches cost $10. Half of every lunch sold goes directly to Meals on Wheels.

"Basically, that covers a meal for a senior, so when you buy your $10 lunch, what you're doing is you're buying yourself lunch and lunch for someone else," Weaver said.

The fundraiser only lasts for a week but it is the organization's biggest fundraiser.

"Last year and this year, both, we really produced about 4,000 lunches during the course of this week, so it's a great support from the community, and we just need to say thank you to them for making that happen because it's really a great opportunity to give back to our community," Weaver said.

Big Wheels lasts through the end of this week, but all orders must have been made by April 22.