Readers respond to the April 14 issue

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Free lunch

I am responding to a rant in the April 7 issue of C-VILLE regarding our local Meals on Wheels program receiving stimulus money from the federal government.

While I cannot speak for any Meals on Wheels organization but our own, I can assure any and all concerned citizens that Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville-Albemarle is an independent local organization, which is now and has always been locally funded. We rely entirely on this community—individuals, organizations, and businesses alike—to support our home-delivered meals program, and the community has most generously and faithfully stepped up to the plate and kept us going for 32 years running.

Since our inception in 1977, we have delivered over 822,000 hot lunches. In 2008, 270-plus local residents volunteered their time to deliver over 50,000 meals to our homebound neighbors. In addition to our spectacularly generous and dedicated corps of volunteers, Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville-Albemarle employs three part-time paid staff. Our office space and utilities are donated by UVa.

So, what do we do with the money we work so hard to raise? Over 80 percent of our clients receive meals paid for either fully or partially with local donations made directly to our local program. Pure and simple, your dollars—not your tax dollars, but whatever dollars you choose to contribute to Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville-Albemarle—feed our clients. Our clients are your neighbors. Thank you for helping us take care of them.

Mandy Hoy, Executive Director
Meals on Wheels of Charlottesville-Albemarle

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