Erie Meals on Wheels will no longer be delivering meals to clients of the Greater Erie Community Action Committee, GECAC, after September 30.
Wendy Wallace of Meals on Wheels says GECAC will be ending it’s contract with Meals on Wheels, as fall-out from it’s loss of Head State funding. Meals on Wheels delivers 200 meals a day for clients of GECAC, who qualify for free meals. The meals are cooked in GECAC kitchens. GECAC pays Meals on Wheels $72,000 a year to coordinate the distribution of the 200 daily meals.
Meals on wheels will continue delivery with LECOM Senior Living Center providing the food for meals on wheels clients. Unlike the free meals delivered to GECAC clients, LECOM clients are private pay and pay out of pocket for their meals. The food is prepared in LECOM kitchens and Meals on Wheels is contracted to deliver them.
Wallace said the most devastating part of this development is the end of years long relationships between Meals on Wheels volunteers and the clients that received meals. For some, this is the only visitor they have in a day, and perhaps their only human contact. And in some ways, the daily meal delivery also serves as a wellness check.
GECAC officials were unavailable for comment Friday afternoon on the latest developments. Recently, the organization lost federal funding for Head Start, a program it operated for 50 years. 160 GECAC employees were employed in the Head Start program.