One Good Meal is hurting for funds

09/13/2013 6:00 PM

09/13/2013 6:01 PM

One Good Meal is desperately seeking money to keep delivering meals to shut-in residents in Lee’s Summit.

The agency owes about $18,000 to its vendor, the Lee’s Summit Hy-Vee store on Langsford Road, which is reducing its line of credit, said Roberta McArthur, the agency’s director. She said Hy-Vee’s management has been very generous, but as a business it can only do so much.

“I don’t want anyone thinking anything bad about Hy-Vee,” McArthur said. The grocery’s catering service already gives the agency meals below cost, she said.

The agency delivers one meal each weekday to about 100 residents who are elderly or disabled, regardless of their ability to pay.

The agency’s intent is for donations to cover about 25 percent of its expenses and clients to cover 75 percent by paying for their meals. But it’s hard to meet that goal with the mix of clients and today’s economy, said Dayton Runkle, president of One Good Meal’s executive board.

Runkle said there’s usually a $30,000 gap in funds annually that it tries to make up with donations or fundraisers.

He said a small group of volunteers and sponsors supports One Good Meal, and the agency needs to expand its base. It’s looking for groups to sponsor a delivery route or a fundraiser.

“We’ve always been a poor group,” Runkle said.

Hy-Vee Store Director Randy Summerville said the store isn’t planning to stop deliveries but it needed to ask the agency to find a way to keep up its account.

Hy-Vee provides the meals below cost, without a price increase since 2000, he said.

“We try to take care of them and help the best we can,” Summerville said.

The agency is particularly seeking relationships with more businesses, McArthur said, and she is scheduling meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and other groups to solicit advice or leads.

During the past 18 years, McArthur’s mother, who had founded the service, sometimes would use her personal credit card to cover balances.

McArthur, who is retired, said she can’t afford such stop-gap measures and the small organization wants to establish a firm financial base.

McArthur does not draw a salary. One Good Meal has a low overhead of about 7 percent with nearly all of the donations going to buy food, she said. Volunteers bake desserts, and deliveries are made by volunteers.


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