Site Visit: Community Mobile Meals by Rebekah Leopold

July 11, 2012

The excitement of watching an organization in action can be the key to linking a nonprofit’s profile in The Giving Partner with the full portrait of its community impact.  Earlier this spring, Community Mobile Meals of Sarasota County completed its profile in The Giving Partner, and I recently took a trip over to observe the operation first hand.

Personal relationships, meaningful volunteer opportunities with a clear link to making an impact, and collaborations are at the heart of the organization’s success.

This long-standing organization, operating since 1972, delivers hot meals everyday to individuals who are unable to cook for themselves because of age or physical disability. Community Mobile Meals provides about 130,000 meals every year, typically more than 450 meals per day.

During my visit, I observed and participated in just about all aspects of their operation – from cooking, to packaging to delivering meals – and talked with Terence McGannon, the recently hired executive director.

One of the first things I noticed was the close and committed group of volunteers. I talked to one woman who had been with Community Mobile Meals for more than 20 years, and met many other devoted and enthusiastic participants. Seeing the direct impact of their work everyday is a real highlight for those involved.

Community Mobile Meals is also very effective in collaborating with other organizations to maximize the value and reach of their resources. For example, they partner with local groups to receive surplus food to use on a daily basis.

While helping Terry deliver meals on route 10B, I saw firsthand the kind of personal relationships Community Mobile Meals has with those it serves. Community Mobile Meals understands both the general and individual needs of homebound seniors and those with physical disabilities. I met one woman who was delighted and grateful for the happy birthday call she received from the organization. I listened as Terry talked about each person we visited and their unique story. In addition to providing food, Community Mobile Meals also provides an invaluable personal connection to its recipients.

Community Mobile Meals doesn’t receive government funding, so they can provide meals to people of all ages and regardless of their income. Terry stresses the significance and difference having a home-delivered hot meal can make to homebound individuals in our community.

Again, the strong volunteer base, collaborations with other organizations and relationships with clients at Community Mobile Meals are definitely something to admire.

We give thanks to Community Mobile Meals for its history of making a difference and for the growth in organizational capacity that’s sure to come as it expands, refines and develops new strategies in this high-energy philanthropic environment.

View it’s profile in The Giving Partner here.

Rebekah Leopold

Guest blogger Rebekah Leopold is a recent graduate of Riverview High School’s International Baccalaureate Program and will be attending Boston University this fall to study Economics and Sociology. She is working as a summer hire for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.


One Response to “Site Visit: Community Mobile Meals by Rebekah Leopold”

  1. Sharna Says:

    When we think of Sarasota, we tend to think of a very affluent community. People can forget there is an underlying population that goes unnoticed who are in need of the services of Community Mobile Meals. Thank goodness for the many volunteers who make this organization run so smoothly and the leadership of Terence McGannon.

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