On June 29th, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels and Orange County Rural Alliance will be Meals on Wheels Orange County, NC, serving Chapel Hill, Carrboro and rural Orange. Our new acronym will be MOWOCNC.
In spite of all the changes wrought by COVID-19 we have forged ahead with our plans to merge so that we may more efficiently and more effectively serve older adults across the county within our service areas. Together, we will create a stronger, more vibrant Meals on Wheels organization to meet the challenges of increasing hunger and isolation among older adults in our community.
Our service will continue as usual, the delivery of five frozen meals, accompanied by a bag of fresh fruit once per week, and every other weekday check-in calls to ensure recipients are healthy, have eaten, and have access to other food beyond the Meals on Wheels delivery. The distribution of emergency food and supply boxes to recipients in need of additional food during COVID will be expanded to cover all MOWOCNC recipients.
We realize you might have some questions, as to how this merger will impact each organization, volunteers, staff, and recipients. We look forward to answering all of your questions! To start we have answered a few general questions below. As more decisions are made we will continue to share any updates as soon as possible, through email and our monthly newsletter.
Why merge and why now?
Both organizations recognized the increased need for Meals on Wheels services in Orange County but have been limited by funding and small size. Our merged organization will serve a larger number of recipients more efficiently and cost-effectively. Moreover, as a single organization, we will be better positioned to compete for larger grants and corporate funding. Now is the perfect time to join together and commit the passion of our volunteers, staff and funders to create a more sustainable organization that will be better positioned to meet growing community needs.
What comes next?
Once officially merged the work continues. Our new expanded board and staff will continue to work to fully merge the two organizations to create one unified entity to serve the needs of older adults across the county.
How will this work?
The merged organization will maintain headquarters in Chapel Hill and the Hillsborough facility will serve as a satellite hub for food distribution to rural northern Orange County. In many aspects, volunteers may not recognize any significant changes. Staff will merge with new and/or expanded job responsibilities based on the needs of the new organization and the Board of Directors will expand to include 5 previous OCRA board members. Our bylaws have been rewritten to serve the expanded organization, including a goal to have all townships in Orange County represented on MOWOCNC's Board of Directors.
How can I help?
First, please continue your wonderful volunteer service!! We could not do what we do without you!
Second, consider joining one of our committees: Development, Communications/Marketing, Finance and Volunteers. We are still meeting by Zoom! Committee work is extremely important to successful non-profits and we are always looking for new ideas and new members! Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
Third, please continue to be an ambassador for Meals on Wheels and our recipients. The more we are able to share what we do and the impact our services have on our recipients, the more volunteers and donors we will attract. Together, we can deliver!
When can we celebrate?
Unfortunately, as you all know, our Toast to the Future merger celebration had to be cancelled. We are planning two events to help kick-off our new adventure! More details will be coming soon and we look forward to "seeing" you all at one or both celebrations!
Last, but not least, we want to say thank you. CHCMOW and OCRA were able to come to this merger because of all the hard work, dedication, volunteer hours and donor dollars that were put into both organizations to tackle unmet community needs. Because of your work and those who came before you - our merged organization will be serving over 350 people per day. Thank you for caring. Thank you for alleviating hunger and reducing isolation across Orange County. We look forward to toasting you and our future together sometime soon!