One Good Meal seeks individual, corporate donations

tporter@lsjournal.comMay 16, 2014 

  • $4

    Price per lunch for participants in the One Good Meal program in Lee’s Summit before a $.50 price hike began this month.

One Good Meal is looking for a few benevolent donors.

The Lee’s Summit organization catering to the needs of home-bound seniors by providing lunch five days per week is asking for individual and corporate help as it tries to navigate the course of higher food prices.

Roberta McArthur, director of One Good Meal, said the organization needs close to a dozen or so people in the community to step up with a generous offer or donation to ease the not-for-profit’s burden.

One Good Meal’s overall goal is for corporate and private funding to represent 25 percent of the total income for the program while the remaining 75 percent of the income is derived from client payments for meals served.

“What I would love to do is find 10 people in Lee’s Summit that can afford $1,300 a year,” McArthur said. “That would feed one of my scholarship people for an entire year. There are some businesses out there that could certainly do that. Right now we’re stuck. I have no clue in the world how to raise the money.”

She added Hy-Vee recently had to raise cost by a dollar per meal after the store held prices steady over the last year or so. Hy-Vee caters the $4 lunches that One Good Meal serves and delivers to more than 80 Lee’s Summit residents daily, which computes to roughly 400 meals per week and more than 2,000 meals served monthly.

“We knew it was coming and they graciously allowed us to break it up into two different segments” McArthur said of higher food prices. “The first one was the first of May when prices per meal went up fifty cents. The next fifty cents will be in November. It sounds really simple, but 40 percent of my people can’t afford to pay anything. It’s a huge thing to us.”

Ryan Bryant, catering manager at Hy-Vee, said the partnership between the store and One Good Meal has been a mainstay in the community for nearly 20 years – One Good Meal began in Lee’s Summit in 1995 – and they have did all that they could to keep prices at a affordable rate.

As with any business, Bryant said, Hy-Vee has to balance goodwill in the community with their needs as well.

“It’s been a great partnership,” he said. “It’s very, very personable. We enjoy doing what we can to help our community and the folks that are in need. Unfortunately with the way the market is going the last couple of years with rising prices and inflation and all of that stuff, it got to the point that we had to really evaluate what was the best option for our business to keep the margin as low as we could. We’re lucky to have Roberta as a partner and we want to keep it going for many more years to come.”

McArthur repeatedly praised the work Hy-Vee has done with One Good Meal over the years. Rising food prices is an unfortunate event for the organization, but the blame should not be placed on any one individual or business, she said. Higher costs are just the sign of the times we live in.

“(Bryant) was upset that we had to raise the prices of the meals,” McArthur said. “They worked so hard to keep it so low for me.”

Monetary contributions can be made by mailing an investment to the following address: One Good Meal, P.O. Box 2222, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063. For additional information contact McArthur at 816-547-6394 or via email at onegoodmealinfo@gmail.


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