Jacksonville’s Meals on Wheels program has been struggling for months since the city decided to significantly cut the group’s funding. Tuesday a group of students used pennies to make a difference in the program.
Penny after penny, the students at Crystal Springs Elementary School filled jugs to the brim. All of the money they are raising will go toward feeding dozens of senior citizens.
Cincere Glover is in the fifth grade and was one of the students volunteering Tuesday afternoon.
“It makes me feel good because I know that I am really helping people,” said Glover.
The entire student body spent the afternoon working to raise money for Meals on Wheels. The organization is working with a $180,000 shortfall this year because of budget cuts.
“Oh my goodness, the war is on," said principal of Crystal Springs, Chiquita Rivers. "You take a look at the jugs, you will see that there is serious competition here.”
“We cannot say thank you enough to those students and the staff for all that they are doing to support Meals on Wheels,” said director of development for Aging True, Tourea Robinson.
The support collected at Crystal Springs Tuesday is something Robinson said she is still hoping for from state and local leaders. Each class at the school is competing to bring in the most pennies. The grade that raises the most pennies wins a party with a movie and popcorn in January.
Meals on Wheels told Channel 4 Tuesday that they were able to take 20 people off the waiting list and provide them with meals. There are still a lot of people who used to count on the Meals on Wheels Program, and now have to rely on neighbors and friends to feed them.
For Thanksgiving this year, St. Vincent’s Hospital is partnering with local cab companies to help the Meals on Wheels program deliver meals to those seniors for the holiday.
People can help the Meals on Wheels program through the Aging True website.