Meal program is helping, but funding and volunteer drivers are needed

A local meal delivery program created and run by Mohave Sunrise Rotary Club of Fort Mohave has drawn national attention for its efforts to help seniors during the COVID-19 crisis. An article published by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association highlights how communities served by rural electric cooperatives like Mohave Electric are coming together to help members during this difficult time.

The meal program originated with Rotary members Ardie Lauxman, chief financial officer of MEC, and Anita Gill, club president, and owner of Javalina’s Coffee Express having a conversation about restaurants like Gill’s surviving under the order to close public dining.

Gill’s idea was based on the club members’ passion for serving seniors in the community. She wanted to use her small café to prepare and deliver meals to seniors with compromised health who are unable to leave their homes, and to do it free of charge.

“I volunteered my past experience preparing food for community events, and Anita brought the organizational, leadership, and cooking skills,” said Lauxman.

Gill says the requests for meal delivery have reached more than 600 and growing.

“There’s a need and it’s a big one,” said Gill. “We’ve reached a critical point. The Rotary Club is asking the community for support so we can continue preparing and delivering meals throughout the duration of the health crisis.”

Lauxman explained the two ways that people in the community can help– funds to purchase food items and volunteers to help deliver the meals.

”We’re hearing a lot about funding available for food programs, but it doesn’t seem to be coming our way and reaching these folks, “said Lauxman. “We’re trying to get the attention of state agencies that have funding so these folks in Mohave County are taken care of, one way or another, whether it’s  Rotary Club or another agency.”

Matt Hanrahan, of Baron Services, and Mohave Sunrise Rotary Club treasurer, is coordinating inquiries from the club’s very busy Facebook page.

Donations by check or electronically using PayPal are the best way to help the program with funding for food purchases. Checks should be made to Mohave Sunrise Rotary, referenced “Senior Meals Delivery,” and mailed to Mohave Sunrise Rotary, PO Box 9007, Fort Mohave, AZ 86427.

Those interested in helping with meal delivery should contact Gill and Hanrahan on Facebook. Deliveries are made by ringing the doorbell and leaving the meal outside by the door. There is no personal contact.

Lauxman has been dishing up food and delivering. “The folks are so appreciative. That alone is my reward,” he said.

Foreground Ardie Lauxman (CFO Mohave Electric Cooperative), Background Donna Hill (Director of Administration Boys and Girls Club of the Colorado River), both Rotarians prep meals to be delivered to seniors. Photo Credit Javalina’s Coffee Express

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