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Massena Meals on Wheels week coming up

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MASSENA - Meals on Wheels Week, the annual fundraising campaign for the not-for-profit organization, is about to begin.

Massena Meals on Wheels Week kicks off on Friday, giving community members a chance to recognize the service the non-profit organization provides and support it financially. The week includes a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Friday, and the annual radio telethon on Oct. 5.

This year’s fundraising goal is to raise $15,000, Meals on Wheels officials said. That money helps the organization break even in its annual budget - providing funding for food, heating and electricity, according to Executive Director Jessica J. Fregoe.

“It’s all basic operations,” Ms. Fregoe said.

Meals On Wheels delivers a hot meal to 86 recipients Monday through Friday, rising to over 100 in the winter, Ms. Fregoe said. There are 76 volunteers who help keep the operation running.

The spaghetti dinner runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Meals on Wheels, 70 East Hatfield St. The cost is $8 per person and take-outs are available by calling 769-5083. The day-long radio telethon wraps up the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday Oct. 5.

Chairman Mark P. Bogdan said things are going nicely as they move toward that event. He is hoping to have 100 items to auction off then. The radio telethon will be broadcast live on WMSA 1340 and Channel 1501, and on a tape delay on Channel 30.

During the week, Meals on Wheels has partnered with 45 area businesses who will sell paper wheels for $1 for the “Keeping The Wheels Rolling’ fundraiser.

Massena Meals on Wheels is partially funded by New York State Office of the Aging, and receives annual donations from the towns of Massena and Louisville, but relies heavily on donations. Through the annual fundraisers like the telethon and spaghetti dinner, the board is able to meet its budget.

Meals on Wheels provides more than a nutritious meal for those who cannot afford one or are unable to get the grocery store, Ms. Fregoe said. It’s also the only connection some of its recipients have with the outside world.

“We help them maintain their independence. Some people don’t have family up here. They’re alone,” Ms. Fregoe said. “The only contact with the outside world that day is the driver who comes to the door to ask them how they’re doing.”

“It’s more than just a hot meal,” Mr. Bogdan added.

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