By CHERIL VERNON
To help cover the cost to replace the specially built, heated and cooled truck used to deliver meals to homebound senior and disabled citizens in three counties, Meals on Wheels of Palestine Inc. is starting a campaign to sell advertising space on the new truck.
“Presently the meals are delivered to Frankston, Jacksonville and Henderson in our old truck from the central kitchen, located in Palestine. The truck is designed to get the hot foods to each site at 160 degrees or more and the cold food at 40 degrees or less, which is mandated by state and federal law, for safety sake,” MOW Director Lois Durant said. “The truck has been in service since 2005 and has well over 250,000 miles on it. The truck has begun to show wear and tear, with mechanical problems. Because of this, the Meals on Wheels Board decided that it was time to replace this vehicle. The decision was made because of the worry that if the truck were to break down, the agency would have no means to deliver the meals to the other sites.”
The winning bid for the new truck came in from Hotshot by Delivery Concepts of Bloomingdale, Illinois. The cost of the new vehicle will be $50,306, which includes the specially built heated ovens and refrigerator units, and delivery.
“Selling the old vehicle will bring the cost down, but Meals on Wheels will still need help with paying for the vehicle. The old vehicle was purchased with local funds and with help from the Area Agency on Aging of East Texas. However, Meals on Wheels is being told that there is no funding available from the Area Agency on Aging, at this time, to help with the purchase,” Durant said.
That’s how the idea to sell advertising on the truck came up.
“Companies or individuals will be able to purchase advertising or sponsorship space on the truck for different amounts. The larger the sponsorship amount, the larger the space. Spaces will start at $500 and will go up from there. The campaign will cover all three counties,” Durant said.
Meals on Wheels board members will begin contacting businesses and individuals in the next few weeks.
“Some space has already been spoken for, so the sooner a person or company makes a decision for sponsorship, the better it will be able to choose its preferred spot,” Durant said.
Meals on Wheels serves Anderson, Cherokee and Rusk counties in East Texas. An average of 750 home delivered meals are served each day, five days per week, 251 days per year.
The new 2013 Board for Meals on Wheels will begin serving on Jan. 1. Klaus Kuehl, PA is president, Rhonda Herrington is vice president; Bob Beck is treasurer and Letha King is secretary. Other board members are Jane Kenderdine, Tome Nell Gregg, Barbara McGuire, Brenda Beasley, Carolyn Riley, Ken Owens, Kevin Watts, Jo Green, Sharon Grizzle, Robb Stewart, Linda Chaffin and Karen Richardson. Each board member will choose which business or individuals they will call on.
“Bob Francis of Jacksonville and April Johnston of Palestine have just gone off the board. However, they will also help with the campaign,” Durant said.
For more information about the Meals on Wheels program, call 903-729-0612.