Farmer helps land $2,500 grant for Meals on Wheels

ContributedJackson Center farmer Norman McCurdy, left, helped Lakeview Area Meals on Wheels obtain a grant from the Monsanto Fund. With him is Jane Buckley, Meals on Wheels co-director.

STONEBORO – Lake-view Area Meals on Wheels has received financial help, thanks to a local farmer.

“Their name came up in my mind first,” said Norman McCurdy, a grain farmer in Jackson Center.

The nonprofit was awarded $2,500 through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, a program sponsored by the Monsanto Fund – a philanthropic arm of Bayer.

“I was very surprised, grateful,” said Jane Buckley, co-director of Lakeview Area Meals on Wheels.

The program partners with farmers to support nonprofit organizations in rural areas. McCurdy said he believes that Monsanto selected 1,300 counties to be part of this year’s program.

He signed up to be considered for the grant opportunity and when he was chosen, he knew right away that he wanted to help Meals on Wheels.

“It’s a nice program,” he said.

His parents, Sam and Merriam McCurdy, volunteered for Lakeview Area Meals on Wheels, and his mother was one of the clients.

The grant money will be used to buy food and other items for the hot and cold meals, which are delivered Monday through Friday to clients in Stoneboro, Sandy Lake, Jackson Center and Fredonia, Buckley said.

The meals are prepared at Stoneboro Presbyterian Church. Almost everyone involved with the agency is a volunteer.

Meals on Wheels averages about 40 clients a day; most of them are senior citizens or residents who are homebound.

The organization is funded by donations and by the fee that clients pay for their meals. A lot of the food is made from scratch, like the popular meatloaf and ham loaf.

“We really do attempt to keep everything as fresh as we can,” she said.

Other community organizations and individuals have been a big help. Local churches donate desserts to go with the meals, and residents are eager to share fresh produce.

“People are very generous with their gardens,” Buckley said, noting that Meals on Wheels is looking for green peppers.

Lakeview Area Meals on Wheels has been around for about 45 years, and they always need volunteers.

“We look forward to celebrating 50 years,” she said.

The America’s Farmers Grow Communities program is in its 10th year, and has awarded more than $33 million to over 8,000 nonprofits across rural America, according to a news release.

“Farmers are one of America’s best resources, which is why Grow Communities partners with them to direct donation to the organizations they are passionate about and that make a positive impact and a better life in communities,” said Al Mitchell, Bayer’s vice president of corporate engagement.

For more information about Lakeview Area Meals on Wheels, call 724-376-4088, or Jane Buckley at 724-376-3828. To learn more about America’s Farmers Grow Communities, visit www.AmericasFarmers.com