Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson & Ellis Counties (MOW), a community-based not-for-profit in Texas, helps home bound elderly and disabled persons remain independent and healthy in their homes by providing home-delivered meals, daily personal contact, and support.
Founded in 1977, it currently serves nearly 3,000 needy persons per year in a two-county service area that covers over 1,700 square miles.
“Serving the children of yesterday, today,” MOW ensures that someone checks on the elderly and disabled of Johnson and Ellis counties every day. By offering personal interactions and an honest interest in the welfare of home bound and disabled individuals, the 600 volunteers who work with them each month make the difference in many lives. With a National Nutrition Certification Program, a peer-review program that signifies that a meal program is performing its mission of providing healthy nutrition services to the elderly and at-risk populations, MOW ensures quality service and organizational accountability by setting national nutrition program standards.
Because MOW places a strong emphasis on individuals versus numbers, communities as opposed to governmental boundaries, and timely services versus waiting lists, the organization strives to do more than just end hunger for home bound individuals. Located just south of Dallas and Fort Worth in North Central Texas, the organization relies heavily on donors to cover the costs of not having their own kitchen, but they are in the fourth year of a $6 million capital campaign that will allow MOW to build a regional meal facility that would provide an initial savings of nearly $1 per meal and create the ability to cook more than 1,800 fresh hot meals a day.
With only $1.3 million raised thus far, MOW knows there is still a long way to go before the kitchen is opened. “At times we’re too close to Dallas and Fort Worth and other times we’re not close enough to draw on the foundations and corporate interests there, but the kitchen is an incredible opportunity for us, as it will solidify our future, and allow us to better serve those who need services,” explained Vinsen Faris, the Executive Director of MOW.
Since 2003, UST has provided definite cost savings and proven budgeting abilities that have been put directly back into helping pay for the meals of those reliant on MOW. Even though the agency has a history of very low turnover, and rare incidents of dismissal, the claims monitoring services helped prevent a costly fraudulent unemployment claim from being successful. UST educational offerings have also helped prevent the agency from running into any other fraudulent claims by providing information on best hiring practices and documentation.
“I think that unemployment taxes are one of those things that people don’t want to talk about. But, we’re doing our best to control our risk levels because we want to be the best stewards of the public’s money that we can be, and I think UST helps us do that,” said Faris.
Most people don’t want to talk about unemployment taxes, but when organizations are willing to look at how unemployment alternatives can benefit those they serve by opening up more unrestricted funds and enlarging what they are able to give back to their community, nonprofits can find valuable cost savings in the form of need-to-know information and advice.