Kay Koerner (with check, left) and Debbie Weber (with check, right) with CEFS/Golden Circle Nutrition Program accepted the $11,700 contribution collected from members of 100+ Women Who Care Effingham County.
Members of 100+ Women Who Care Effingham County selected CEFS/Golden Circle Nutrition Program (“Meals on Wheels”) as the recipient of the $11,700 contribution collected at its first membership meeting on April 14 at the Effingham Holiday Inn.
Kay Koerner, a meal delivery volunteer for more than 20 years, represented CEFS/Golden Circle Nutrition Program at the inaugural meeting. During her five minute presentation, Koerner explained that 199 Effingham County senior citizens have not received meals on Wednesdays since December 1, 2015 because of the impasse of the state budget. CEFS/Golden Circle Nutrition Program has served senior citizens in Effingham County in this way for the past 43 years but is recently dealing a 40% reduction in funds. However, the $11,700 contribution from Thursday’s giving circle meeting will help fill the current gap in funding.
“There has been an outpouring of generosity from Effingham County to address this issue. We have had several contributions from area businesses and local fundraisers to help us reinstate all five days of meals in Teutopolis, Altamont and Dieterich, but the need still exists,” explains Debbie Weber, Director of the CEFS/Golden Circle Nutrition Program. She explained that this contribution, along with other community support already received, in conjunction with another event planned on June 4, 2016 by The Villas of Holly Brook will be enough to once again fill the plates on Wednesday, which means seniors will receive a hot nutritious meal five days a week for the rest of the program’s fiscal year which ends September 30, 2016. Weber is optimistic that the budget impasse will end before the next fiscal year but understands that a budget resolution won’t address immediate needs in the community. “Even if a budget resolution is passed for this fiscal year, I probably won’t see the 40% of funding that was cut until the next fiscal year. And while I hope to have that funding back next year, I have to focus on meeting the immediate needs of the senior citizens served by this program now. This contribution will help fill those immediate needs and allow us to focus on the people we serve rather than focusing on budget concerns. On behalf of the seniors we serve, I say ‘thank you’ to the 100+ Women Who Care Effingham County for helping us to once again be able to provide meals five days a week through September 2016”
The purpose of 100+ Women Who Care Effingham County is to make an impact on the immediate and future needs of the local community. Members individually commit to giving $400 annually. The first $100 payment goes to the 100+ Women Care Effingham County Endowment, managed by the Effingham County Community Foundation to address future needs in the community. The remaining $300 is used to support the three nonprofits selected by the members throughout the year ($100 at each meeting).
There are two remaining meetings in 2016 for 100+ Women Who Care Effingham County. Those interested in joining before the next meeting (scheduled for July 14) may do so by requesting a new member packet from Audra Clodfelter at 217-342-4988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.