New grant funding from the Safelite AutoGlass Foundation will allow LifeCare Alliance to deliver more than 3,500 meals to clients for whom traditional funding does not exist.
Funding for nutrition services to low-income, underserved populations is typically linked to eligibility requirements such as age. Oftentimes, individuals who are most in need of consistent, nutritious meals do not meet these requirements. Additionally, a senior or medically challenged individual may qualify for a hot meal at lunch, but they may require help to prepare their dinner due to mobility, financial, and/or support system limitations.
The $25,000 Impact Grant that LifeCare Alliance received from the Safelite AutoGlass Foundation will provide 3,571 unfunded client meals. This is a critical safety net for clients who need an increased level of service where other community support does not exist. Meals-on-Wheels continues to expand based on growing need in the community, and the Agency is dedicated to accepting all clients in need, regardless of the presence of a funding source for their meals.
In addition to the support from its foundation, Safelite AutoGlass also partners with LifeCare Alliance through volunteer efforts. In fact, this past Wednesday, a number of Safelite employees volunteered in our Groceries-to-Go nutritional program. Groceries-to-Go provides both fresh and shelf-stable food, personal hygiene products, and household cleaning supplies to clients of the Columbus Cancer Clinic living with active cancer. In 2018, the program provided 46,503 meals to 382 clients and their families. Volunteers help stock shelves and shop for clients.
This group of dedicated volunteers also donated $2,000 to purchase turkeys for the Groceries-to-Go nutritional program to distribute to clients for Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for their willingness to Nourish the Human Spirit, especially during the holidays when many may not be able to afford their own turkey.
Safelite AutoGlass also adopts a Meals-on-Wheels route each week and has faithfully delivered since April 1, 2011. Over the course of a year, Safelite employees volunteer 1,040 hours and deliver 3,900 meals. As of their 8-year anniversary on April 1, 2019, Safelite has saved the Agency around $100,000 because each meal route delivered by volunteers instead of a paid driver adds up to $12,000 annually.
Safelite AutoGlass’s support of LifeCare Alliance’s nutrition programs is truly an investment in the community: the health and nutrition services the Agency provides play a key role in keeping clients safe and independent in the comfort of their own homes. AARP calculates that Ohio taxpayers fund nursing home care at an average annual cost of $78,840 per person. By serving these same individuals at a fraction of that cost, LifeCare Alliance saves taxpayers money while serving the community. For example, when the Agency helps to keep 100 clients in their home, Ohio taxpayers save more than $7.8 million. These services equate to a multi-billion dollar effect on the community.
LifeCare Alliance clients also average five fewer days a year in hospitals than those with comparable demographics, saving funds which equate to the cost of more than five years’ worth of client meals. When clients receive consistent, nutritious meals, potentially debilitating and costly health outcomes are prevented, leading to lower rates of hospitalization. Providing clients with their most basic need — food — regardless of their ability to pay for services, allows these individuals to better manage their finances. This ensures that clients no longer face the difficult decision between paying rent/mortgage to remain in their home and buying groceries to feed themselves. LifeCare Alliance’s services are vital in preventing unnecessary homelessness, hospitalization, and institutionalization.