WILLIAMSBURG — In late June, Williamsburg Meals on Wheels sent out its first ever mid-year letter of appeal to ask the surrounding community for help.
Signed and written by the Executive Director for Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels, Catherine S. Upton, the letter was a personal plea describing some of the challenges that are faced by the organization.
According to the letter, Meals on Wheels was averaging 100 meals per day prior to COVID-19. Since the pandemic, it now averages over 210 meals a day, and that number continues to rise. That increase has greatly contributed to the rising costs of feeding those in need of food.
“The last two years we could never have imagined the need in our community. It has grown and continues to grow every single day,” said Upton in an interview with 92.3 The Tide’s Andy Harris. “My letter of appeal mentioned, with no exaggeration, that we paid over $1,000 more for milk this month. The other day I paid $800 more for chicken than I paid two weeks ago. No one could’ve convinced me that our costs would exceed what they have.”
Listen to the full interview: Hometown Radio Interview: Catherine Upton, Williamsburg Meals on Wheels [AUDIO]
According to the letter, Meals on Wheels will begin making more than 200 bag lunches for children living in motels and Section 8 Housing on June 12, and will continue to do so throughout the summer, funds permitting.
The Williamsburg organization has announced it is serving twice the number of clients it did two years ago, and every donation matters. A $5 donation is able to pay for one individual’s meal. Likewise, $120 can feed an individual for a month.
“I decided to put a personal letter of appeal out to the community and I am truly humbled by the wonderful responses I’ve had,” Upton told 92.3 The Tide’s Harris. “Either through donations, phone calls of support, people wanting to volunteer and deliver meals, because that’s a very important piece. Without our volunteers delivering meals, it won’t happen. So they give daily by giving their time, and right now they spend money on gas. So we try to lower the number of stops that they have to make, increase the number of roots so that we can spread more over the community, but they give daily to us and without it there would be no meals on the street.”
For more information on how to donate, or for those looking for volunteer opportunities, please check out Williamsburg Meals on Wheels’ website.