Sussex County’s senior population got a boost recently when the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) presented its largest donation ever to help fight hunger through Cheer’s Meals on Wheels.
“We’ve never gotten anything to close this amount — $25,000 is a tremendous amount of money for us,” said Randy Nelson, Cheer marketing director.
“That was our hope,” said Billy Scott, QRCF president. “Our goal was to make significant impact on how you guys operate.”
Meals on Wheels delivers ready-to-eat meals to homebound senior citizens, free of charge. Meals are planned by a registered dietician, who also considers the needs of those who are diabetic or require low-cholesterol meals. Each meal costs about $3.67 to prepare.
“We are so grateful for this generous gift,” said Arlene Littleton, Cheer executive director. “Meals on Wheels has been under enormous financial pressure, and this contribution will allow us to provide close to 7,000 meals to homebound seniors in the Bethany-Fenwick area.”
While the program receives some federal and state funds, Meals on Wheels relies on donations to ensure no senior has to go hungry.
“We rely on people like you guys,” Nelson told QRCF members.
“The kindness of strangers,” suggested Steve Alexander, QRCF vice president.
“And this is too important to rely on the kindness of strangers,” said Scott.
The money will stay in the Bethany-Fenwick and Dagsboro areas. That’s the equivalent of 19 meals daily for the next year, or nearly 20 percent of the 37,000 meals Cheer would normally serve in southeastern Sussex County.
QRCF’s successful 2012 Caribbean Christmas event provided the hefty donation. The fundraiser benefits a different organization each year. Food, drinks and prizes are mostly donated by area businesses, so almost all ticket and auction money benefits the donation.
QRCF has provided just under a half-million dollars for the community. It was first formed in 2001 as the charitable arm of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.
In an effort to support all demographics, QRCF gave heavily to students in autumn and members wanted to focus on seniors and the needy this winter. The QRCF aims to have a direct impact on those in need.
“We couldn’t do it, if not for the community,” said Ellen Magee of QRCF, emphasizing the local businesses and citizens, “and they deserve a lot of credit.”
“We wish to thank the many people who donated their time, talent and effort to the Caribbean Christmas event,” said Nelson. ”I can assure you, the thousands of people who benefit from Meals on Wheels also thank you.”
Meals on Wheels helps seniors live in their own homes, which saves them money compared to nursing home costs.
Cheer annually serves 120,000 meals in all of Sussex County, but they’ve seen exponential growth in the southeast. To reduce costs, volunteers drive and deliver meals.
“It’s more than just a meal for these people. It might be the only person they see all day,” said Scott.
“A lot of people down here are away from their families,” said Magee. “It’s good to have that network.”
For more information on receiving Meals on Wheels, contact the Georgetown Cheer office at (302) 856-5187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation is can be reached at (302) 537-QRCF (7723) or online at www.qrcf.org.