Meals on Wheels anticipates record breaking fundraiser

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COLUMBIA – Meals on Wheels is holding its Big Wheels fundraiser this week, which has served as the organization’s main fundraiser for nearly two decades.

The local Veterans United is helping make this a record breaking year for the fundraiser of nearly two decades.

“We’re going to provide box lunches for our employees coming up about 2,000 across Columbia and help support Meals on Wheels,” said Ed Schnedler, the Veterans United Customer Service Manger. “The great thing is yes it does feed 2,000 employees, but also it gets to feed about 2,000 local seniors and I think that’s really the great cause that we can really get behind.”

Half of the money from a $10 Panera lunch order through the Big Wheels fundraiser goes directly to the organization.

“The fundraiser that we do with Big Wheels produces $5 for each of those meals that goes back into the general operating budget,” said JoNetta Weaver, the Executive Director for Meals on Wheels of Columbia. “And that’s able to subsidize the seniors here in Columbia. The fundraiser alone is our largest fundraiser, and it’s about 30 percent of our budget.”

Meals on Wheels of Columbia is a non-profit organization and through the help of nearly 200 volunteer drivers, provides a meal to seniors with limited mobility.

Volunteer Chuck Carl has been with the organization for longer than a decade and is driven by more than the chance to provide meals to seniors.

“It provides them independence too, and they can stay at home, and it makes their day sometimes,” said Carl.

Meals on Wheels serves almost 300 clients annually and delivers nearly 100 meals a day in Columbia. 

Big Wheels aims to clear a record amount of more than $30,000 this year, which equates to about 6,000 meals for seniors.

“We are funded without federal funds so it is important for us to have this fundraiser,” said Weaver.

People can place orders and contribute to the Big Wheels fundraiser through the order form.

All orders must be submitted by noon Friday April 21.