Coal Creek Meals on Wheels sees dramatic increase in need for meals
LAFAYETTE — Coal Creek Meals on Wheels has seen a dramatic increase in need for meals since the beginning of 2023, with the first three months of the year seeing the highest number of meals served in any three-month period in the organization’s history, according to a press release
The organization reported a 20% increase in the number of meals served between January and March.
Coal Creek Meals on Wheels served 4,960 meals in March, which is the most meals served in a single month in the history of the organization. Prior to this March, the highest month in terms of meals served in Coal Creek’s history was in July 2020 (4,051 meals) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trend of increased demand for food assistance comes in connection with the end of COVID-era federal benefits.
“Along with the influx of new clients, we are also seeing a significant decrease in the amount our clients are able to contribute toward their meals,” Lark Rambo, Coal Creek Meals on Wheels executive director, said in a written statement. “Currently, more than 30% of our clients are on ‘emergency funding,’ meaning they are unable to contribute anything toward the cost of their meals. The average contribution is now $2.46 per meal, and it costs us $7.43 to produce each meal. As costs remain high due to inflation, we expect that the number of clients we are serving will continue to increase.”
The organization also has experienced increasing costs with inflation over the past year, making food and supplies more expensive. Paired with an overall increase in need for services and a decrease in the number of clients who can contribute to the cost of their meals, Coal Creek seeks additional funding to support its work.
In 2022, Coal Creek Meals on Wheels served 40,460 meals to neighbors in need in Erie, Lafayette, Louisville, and Superior. The organization also provided 84 one-month supplies of pet food to clients through a partnership with Colorado Pet Pantry. Coal Creek Meals on Wheels has no requirements to receive services, with anyone eligible regardless of age or income level.
Donations can be made at www.coalcreekmow.org.