ASHE COUNTY —Ashe Services for Aging will be able to serve 746 additional meals thanks to a recent restoration of state funding.
ASA executive director Patricia Calloway came before the Ashe County Board of Commissioners on Monday, Dec. 7 to propose a budget revision to allow those funds to be used for the Home Delivered Meals Program. Commissioners followed Calloway’s proposal with a unanimous vote in support.
In their state budget proposal, the N.C. House included a restoration of nearly $1 million in statewide funding that had been previously cut from the Home and Community Care Block Grant.
This translates to more than $4,500 locally for ASA.
ASA uses funds from the Home and Community Care Block Grant for services like home delivered meals, congregate meals, in-home aide services, adult daycare and adult day health.
According to Calloway, ASA felt that they would see the biggest impact for those dollars if used specifically for the Home Delivered Meals Program.
Three decades of serving
Five days a week volunteers with ASA’s Home Delivered Meals Program pack insulated coolers with tasty recipes and deliver them to elderly, home bound residents across Ashe County.
According to Calloway, the program has been serving Ashe County for more than 30 years and while the program serves an average of 77 home bound seniors a month already, 12 still remain on the waiting list.
Thanks to the statewide restoration, ASA will be able to provide 746 additional meals.
“We are happy about that,” Calloway said.
Nearly 20 volunteers drive hundreds of miles each week to deliver meals using routes that extend from Crumpler to Glendale Springs, Baldwin to Creston, Wagner to West Jefferson, Helton to East Jefferson and many places in between.
According to Calloway, those volunteers just recently delivered emergency meals that will be used during the rough Ashe County winter months that are quickly approaching.
“A lot of our volunteer meal deliverers are seniors themselves,” Calloway said. “When the weather is bad and our meal deliverers can’t get out on their routes, we send at the beginning of winter shelf stable emergency meals out into the home so that when we are not able to get out there, our seniors will have a meal available to them that they can use.”
Although the Home Delivered Meals Program receives limited funding from the Home and Community Care Block Grant, Private Pay is available for those needing the meals.
“We can serve people Private Pay in their homes,” Calloway said. “If family members or that person has the funds available for a home delivered meal and we can fit them into our route, then we can provide services.”
Taste of the Mountains
ASA recently announced that their eighth annual Taste of the Mountains fundraiser was a huge success with a record number of restaurants participating.
The event was held back in October and more than $3,600 was raised altogether.
Each year the fundraiser helps the Home Delivered Meals Program by asking restaurants to donate 10 percent of their sales for the specified day and to place table tent cards on their tables advertising their restaurant as well as the other restaurants who are participating in the fundraiser.
ASA would like to express their appreciation to the fundraiser’s main contributing sponsors and restaurants: Boone Family Funeral Home, Luther and Libby Pitts, Miller Insurance Agency, and Skyline Membership Corporation. We also want to thank our other generous sponsors: Ashe County Cheese, Blue Ridge Electric, Jefferson Drug, Lifestore Bank, McFarland and Company, Bantam Chef, Bobby D’s, Bohemia, Frogurt, Gunpowder Grill, Hardee’s, Shatley Springs, Subway, Sweet and Savory, The Harvest Café, The Hotel Tavern, The Log House, and The River House, When Pigs Fly, and Winner’s Circle.
For more information about ASA’s Home Delivered Meals Program or how you can volunteer as a driver, contact Brenda Phillips at 336-246-2461.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.