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Wells event raises $700 for nutrition site

By Staff | May 2, 2011

On a bulletin board in the dining area at the Wells Community Building there’s a notice with the word “Help” written in white on a red background.

It’s to call attention to a proposal in the Minnesota state senate to reduce the Senior Nutrition Program’s funding in half.

As a result, matching federal funds also would be cut.

On Tuesday, because the stakes are high, a luncheon and bridge tournament was held to raise money for the program.

Some 64 card players from Kiester, Mapleton, Minnesota Lake and Wells showed up. Nearly $700 was raised.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of Shannon Savick, Lynn Steele, Jerri Wilder and Arbutus Miller.

Savick says the event is a way of being proactive.

“It’s an opportunity for us to do something about the problem and not simply rely on government,” she says.

The local nutrition program provides noon meals at the community building.

In addition, about 20 meals are delivered to people at Broadway Apartments and 20 to those living in their homes.

“For many, this is the one balanced meal they get a day,” she says. “If we lose funding, we’ll have some people who will have to choose between eating or buying medications.”

Savick credits the work of volunteers and the generosity of local merchants who helped make the fundraiser a success.

“We didn’t have one business that told us no when we asked for a donation,” Savick says.

Drawings were held for door prizes and players with the three highest scores also received a prize.

There’s hope the fundraiser will become an annual event.

Savick says funding cuts and increased costs have forced three counties in the state to eliminate senior nutrition programs.

She says there’s a possibility other events will be held in the future to raise money.

“You don’t want to see senior citizens going hungry,” she adds.

Local residents are encouraged to contact their legislators regarding cuts to Meals on Wheels.

District 24 House Reps. Tony Cornish and Bob Gunther may be contacted by calling (800) 657-3550, and Sen. Julie Rosen at (888) 234-1112.