Following over 40 years of service, Mobile Meals to close

After forty-four years serving the residents of Marion and Marion County, Mobile Meals will close at the end of October. Their last delivery will be Friday, October 27, 2017.

According to Dee Mackall, Executive Director, the decision to close Mobile Meals was impacted by several factors including other meal delivery programs now available to local residents and the relocating of First United Church of Christ, which has been “home” to Mobile Meals for over forty years.

Mobile Meals first delivery was October 29, 1973 and the meals were prepared by the two local hospital kitchens to eight (8) clients. As demand for this service increased, it became necessary to find another site where food could be prepared. Pastor Clifford Bollenbacher of First United Church of Christ offered their kitchen facilities as a service to the program. The kitchen had recently been remodeled and they felt good stewardship called for it to be used in a way to benefit the community. Their philosophy was “It would be better to wear out the equipment than to allow it to rust out from disuse.” So, on January 20, 1974, Mobile Meals began preparing and packing meals from the kitchen of First United Church of Christ on South Prospect street.

At the end of the first year, approximately 500 meals had been served to 74 clients. The Advisory Board decided to reorganize to form Mobile Meals Board of Directors. The following officers were elected:

President – Mrs. Jane Hrehov
Vice President – Miss Margaret Helen Gast
Secretary – Mrs. Barbara Scholz
Treasurer – Mrs.Iola Mahaffey

Mrs. Mahaffey was appointed to serve as Director of Mobile Meals and Mrs. Ellen M. Imbody as the Nutrition Consultant. Mrs. Lucille Bean was employed as the Kitchen supervisor.

On December 11, 1974 papers of incorporation were signed by Ted Brown, Secretary of the State of Ohio, and the by-laws of Mobile Meals of Marion County Incorporated were adopted at the January 16, 1975 meeting of the Board of Directors. Mobile Meals of Marion County Incorporated became 501(c)(3) tax exempt on December 17, 1975 and then became a United Way participating agency in 1978.

From its meager beginnings to the “home” in the basement of First United Church of Christ, Mobile Meals has prepared and delivered over 2.5 million meals to residents in Marion and throughout Marion County. The endeavor of this program was made possible by countless individuals and agencies that recognized the community need and worked together to bring about such an organization.

Mackall said that Mobile Meals Board members, staff, and volunteers graciously thank the social and service clubs, area churches, and civic minded individuals that have supported Mobile Meals including but not limited to:

United Way of Marion County Whirlpool Corporation
Waddell Foundation Wyandot Inc.
Henry True Trust Gordon Food Service
Marion Community Foundation Panera Bread
Union County Foundation Kroger Foods

About Marion Online News

Marion Online is owned and operated by the (somewhat) fine people at Neighborhood Image, a local website design and hosting company. We know, a locally owned media company, it's crazy. To send us information, click on Contact Us in the menu.