United Way Agency Provides MealsBy Amanda Sawyer, United Way communications intern
Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 08 - October 12, 1995
This year, the Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread (RFDB), a United Way partner agency and Combined Virginia Campaign participant, will serve an estimated 18,000 hot noon-time meals at no cost to persons who are economically disadvantaged. For many of these people, it is the only meal they will have.
According to Liz Mills, program coordinator, the volunteers' cooperation and concern is what makes the Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread (RFDB) a success.
"Out of our 100 volunteers, it takes at least nine volunteers every day just to prepare the food. Other volunteers buy and transport groceries, serve food, clean up after each meal, and transport people to and from the meal site," Mills said.
The Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread serves a hot meal consisting of a meat, vegetable, pasta, and desert every day, Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. During the summer, RFDB extends its hours to serve more children. Clients come from all walks of life including widows, senior citizens whose spouses are in nursing homes, mothers of young children, families, and persons with physical or mental disabilities.
The New River Valley Community Services Board provides RFDB with a bus to assist in transporting people to the meal site.
The Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread began in 1992 after a group of concerned citizens and the Radford-Fairlawn Ministerial Association recognized a need for this service in the community. The two groups worked together for more than a year just to complete renovations to the facility. In the first year of operation, the RFDB served approximately 6,350 meals, and demand for services has tripled in 1995.
With this steady increase in demand for services over the past three years, an increase in funding becomes a must. Currently, RFDB is funded by the United Way of Montgomery, Radford, and Floyd through the Combined Virginia Campaign, local churches, and private contributions. Funds are used for food, maintenance of equipment, utilities, and a paid kitchen manager. Local universities often assist by providing excess food, especially meat, on a regular basis. Virginia Tech contributes surplus food from sporting events and concession stands.
The Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread is located at the Radford Church of God in Christ, which donates space for the services. Eventually, the Radford Fairlawn Daily Bread plans to own its own building and purchase new equipment as needed.
For more information about how you can become a part of this vital community service, contact the United Way of Montgomery, Radford and Floyd at 381-2066 or Liz Mills at 639-0290.