Ely is among 5 sites scheduled to lose Meals on Wheels this month. St. John Lutheran Church in Ely will take over the senior congregant dinning and meal delivery service in Ely when Horizons Meals on Wheels ends service this Month.

The Heritage Agency on Aging said earlier in April that five congregate meals sites for seniors – in Marion, Hiawatha, Ely and Springville and at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids – would close in Linn County at the end of the month because of a funding shortfall. So the Ely-based church decided to step in and help.

The Rev. Erika Uthe said the church will serve 30 meals a day Tuesdays and Fridays, as well as deliver a few meals to seniors who are homebound. It’s a large task, she said, noting St. John will need community support.

“We really need the help,” she said. “I’m not sure how we’re going to do it, but we’re going to make it happen.”

St. John already planned to begin construction on a 8,500-square-foot expansion in May, Uthe said. The multipurpose area will house a sanctuary, as well as room for preschool and senior programs, including the senior meals.

“It will be a big project to pull together in a short time but there is no other option,” she said. “Our people need to eat.”

Article written by Chelsea Keenan, The Cedar Rapids Gazette

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