Following last week's announcement of financial losses at Volunteers of America's CommUnity meals program, (DCI, July 3, Page A1) director Deana Sheriff was asked by the DCI if she would comment on VoA's stated $13.11 per meal cost in the seniors hot lunchprogram.
Sheriff provided the following remarks.
"The $13.11 is a correct number, but that includes the in-kind that we must report as part of the federal funding we receive.
"The actual food and preparation (labor, insurance, etc.) costs are approximately $8.90 per meal. To keep our reporting consistent between local, state and federal entities, we use the $13.11 figure.
"Our costs are higher than what one might expect due to meeting federal regulations (the 'price' of receiving monies from the federal government). We must meet certain nutritional standards for the senior population, such as Vitamin C, fiber, sodium levels, etc.), as well as have a slightly higher administration cost due to reporting requirements. Still, $0.89 of every dollar we receive goes toward feeding our seniors.
"The issue we are facing is not an 'expense' issue — it costs what it costs. We are facing a 'revenue' issue — the costs of food have gone up significantly over the past few years, yet the contributions have gone down, and allocated funding has remained flat. We are also feeding more seniors than we were even three years ago.
"It's a daunting challenge, but we're going to do everything in our power to continue serving those who need us most."blog comments powered by Disqus