Relief Fund responds to urgent demand for meals for seniors as requests double

Kentucky has the highest rate of food insecurity among adults aged 50-59 in the nation.

Each day, more and more of those individuals turn 60, graduating into the rapidly
growing senior demographic.

Meals on Wheels Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky provides transportation and
independent living assistance services for seniors across the region. However, the bulk
of their efforts are focused on the Meals on Wheels program, leading them to change
their organization’s name from Wesley Community Services to Meals on Wheels earlier
this year.

Until this year, delivering meals to seniors was a fairly straightforward process, with the
products, logistics, and service plan in place. That all changed overnight, when
leadership at the nonprofit realized they would need to scale their operations by 100

In one month alone, from February 2020 to March of 2020, the number of meals
delivered to Northern Kentucky seniors increased from 9,099 to 18,159.

The team at Meals on Wheels found themselves with an urgent need to respond to a
crisis for Northern Kentucky seniors. They were faced with heartbreaking stories of NKY
seniors who said they couldn’t compete with others for the food, and couldn’t stand in
the long lines.

Public transportation, if they were able to take it, could further expose
them to becoming sick. They received tearful calls from clients coming home from the
hospital to empty pantries.

At the same time, the team at Meals on Wheels knew that they had the unique ability to
get food, personal care and hygiene items directly to the doors of seniors. It’s what they
do. Immediately, they launched a massive preparedness effort and response to COVID-
19, realizing that the odds of their community being heavily impacted were high.

While the nonprofit has decades of leadership and expertise in providing these
resources, the abrupt arrival and spread of COVID-19 resulted in them burning through
their own financial resources tremendously faster than they had planned for the year.

They simply needed the funding to meet the overwhelming current need, get ahead of
the inevitable surge, and then sustain efforts for the next several months as our
communities continue social distancing measures.

As Meals on Wheels laid out a plan to rise to a new challenge, Horizon Community
Funds of Northern Kentucky was quickly setting the groundwork to set up its Horizon
NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund. The Relief Fund is an emergency relief fund for
nonprofits to assist citizens, especially families, who are suffering hardships because of

Through generous support from The Butler Foundation and The R.C. Durr Foundation,
and corporate citizens including Fischer Homes and Drees Homes Foundation, First
Financial Bank, and other individuals, Horizon Community Funds was able to secure
significant lead gifts to raise these much-needed funds, and has since raised more than
$2 million.

In late April, Meals on Wheels Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky received the
largest gift to date from the fund, a grant of $200,000 to directly support their increased
need for meals for seniors.

The grant from Horizon Community Funds gave Meals on Wheels the infusion they
need to ensure that they can get as much food to seniors as possible right now, before
the surge in cases, and in order to keep them at home and safe from exposure. It also
helps sustain their efforts for the next several months through the worst of the crisis,
and ensure that they are strong and able to serve NKY seniors for the duration of the
virus’ spread.

Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund efforts are also supported by: AT&T Kentucky,
Central Bank, CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, The Charles H. Dater
Foundation, Drees Homes Foundation, Duke Energy, Fifth Third Foundation, Forcht
Bank, Heritage Bank, Huntington Bank, The Milburn Family Foundation, Northern
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky University, Republic Bank, The
Scripps Howard Foundation, and St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Many generous individuals
have also stepped up to offer support for the fund as it grows in Northern Kentucky.
Donate to the Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund today:
· Text “NKYRELIEF” to 44-321
· Visit
· Mail a check made payable to Horizon Community Funds (memo: NKY Coronavirus
Relief Fund) to 50 E. RiverCenter Blvd., Suite 430, Covington, KY 41011.

Tess Brown is director of marketing and communications for Horizon Funds of Northern Kentucky.
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