Reduced deliveries, eligibility requirements announced for Tabitha Meals on Wheels

Reduced deliveries, eligibility requirements announced for Tabitha Meals on Wheels
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 8:40 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 5:18 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A budget deficit has forced Tabitha’s Meals on Wheels program to make reductions and add eligibility requirements for recipients.

Tabitha has offered the daily meal and wellness service for more than five decades during which over five million meals have been delivered to people in need.

In a press release Monday, the nonprofit noted a drop in both charitable donations and volunteer delivery participation, as well as a combination of rising food and health care costs and workforce staffing issues following the pandemic.

Every year the program starts out with a budget shortfall, Tabitha said in the release. Recipients pay for their meals either fully or at a reduced rate based on income or assets. In 2023, the Tabitha Meals on Wheels deficit topped $800,000.

To make up the difference, weekend delivery service will come to an end, with the final weekend meal delivery Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26.

Tabitha said weekday deliveries will continue after that date.

Recipients also must be 60-years or older and be unable to shop for and prepare meals without assistance starting July 1.

“We take for granted that those resources will always be around but with seniors retiring in record numbers through 2030, without proper funding that will just not be the case,” said Christie Hinrichs, president and CEO of Tabitha, “We have been sounding the alarm for over a decade and now it has arrived. Tabitha strives to support and evolve to meet older adults needs but with each passing year it is getting tougher and tougher to accomplish.”