Thames Valley Council receives grant for two Meals on Wheels trucks

CAFCA | March 04, 2014 |

After a year of state and federal funding cuts, the Thames Valley Council for Community Action received good news Wednesday, with the delivery of a check for $70,970 from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority to pay for two new Meals on Wheels delivery trucks.

Deborah Monahan, executive director for TVCCA and Jeff Asher, executive director of CHEFA, announced receipt of the grant at the Meals on Wheels commissary in Bozrah, where 1,400 meals are cooked and prepared for recipients in 36 partner towns.  In addition to delivering to individual homes, the agency provides meals at 30 different senior centers and other locations throughout the region.

TVCCA initially applied to the authority last fall for the grant to pay for a one-ton custom-built delivery truck that could store both hot and cold meals. But in researching the details on that purchase, TVCCA officials learned that for $77,528, the agency could purchase two half-ton Ford F-150 trucks modified with the hot and cold storage and racks custom designed for TVCCA's delivery needs.

Monahan asked CHEFA to approve the change in the grant request, stating that TVCCA would make up the $6,558 through its annual spring Carnivale Fundraiser in April, the agency's biggest fundraiser. Last year's event raised $17,000, Monahan said.

CHEFA agreed to the change and awarded the grant Wednesday.

Monahan said the trucks will be ordered from the North Carolina manufacturer and should be received within one to two months.

The Meals on Wheels component of the agency's Senior Nutrition Program needed the new trucks "more than ever," Monahan wrote in the grant application.

On top of a $40,000 state funding cut, TVCCA was hit with a $65,000 cut in federal funding due to federal sequestration. Another sequester cut could come this year.

CHEFA is a quasi-governmental agency created to help Connecticut nonprofit organizations raise money for health and education programs that serve Connecticut residents.

"We go after grants wherever we can find funding to help our programs," Monahan said.