LITTLETON, Colo. — For the first time in more than five decades, TLC Meals on Wheels is taking on new financial expenses, and they're turning to the community for monetary donations.
TLC Meals on Wheels moved at the beginning of January into a former restaurant on 92 E. Arapahoe Road and Broadway after calling Ames Elementary School home for a decade. The nonprofit was forced to move when a 2018 Littleton Public Schools bond passed to build a new elementary school on the campus.
Executive Director Diane McClymonds said short on time, they scrambled to find a partnership to subsidize operation expenses but could not find one. She said they considered leasing a property but worried about rent increasing, so they opted to purchase a building. The organization raised money to pay for kitchen renovations, but now they need help paying for the $1 million building.
An undisclosed family foundation has agreed to match up to $250,000 in donations until the end of February.
The nonprofit delivers meals to seniors in a 95-square mile area in South Metro Denver, and the demand has increased over the years.
"We currently do about 2,500 meals each week, so last year we did over 130,000 meals," McClymonds said. "We have increased the number of meals served by over 30% in the last 3-4 years."
She said that over the last 51 years, their partners helped cover utility bills and cleaning costs - an expense they will now take over.
McClymonds hopes to raise the $1 million needed to buy the building by the end of 2020. She said once the financial burden dissipates, they can focus on educational programs and creating a dining area for seniors to visit and enjoy a meal as a community.