People attending this Friday's Downtown Jamestown Christmas Parade will be able to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate thanks to Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area.
For a contribution of $1 for a 10-ounce hot chocolate, event patrons will be able to warm up during the cold evening of the parade, said Barrie Yochim, executive director of Meals on Wheels. The Meals on Wheels hot chocolate stand will be located in front of Geraci and Company accountants at 18 E. Third St., located on Third Street between Main and Pine streets.
"This fundraiser will help raise money that Meals on Wheels needs to get home-delivered meals in the hands of our community's neediest individuals," Yochim said. "Thousands of people will be at the parade, and we wanted to be a part of the event in a great way to help our area's senior citizens."
Geraci and Company owner John Geraci is treasurer for the Meals on Wheels board of directors.
The hot chocolate will be available starting at 6 p.m., and will last until the end of the parade, or when the hot chocolate supply is exhausted. Meals on Wheels volunteers will be distributing the hot chocolate.
Meals on Wheels is appreciative of the support of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation for its help in linking Meals on Wheels with the downtown parade, he said.
"This is an opportunity for Meals on Wheels to partner with another community organization to benefit our own organization," Yochim said. "We're fortunate the DJDC has been so helpful for many years to allow us to raise money this way."
Meals on Wheels also receives funding from United Way of Southern Chautauqua County and Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, as well as other individual contributors.
Yochim said many individuals in southern Chautauqua County can't pay for meal delivery, and the organization relies on fundraising events like this hot chocolate stand to raise essential funds.
Meals on Wheels provides heatable and cold meals to senior citizens in southern Chautauqua County Monday through Friday. Meals on Wheels also provides frozen meals for use on weekends, as needed. The frozen meals are the same meals utilized during the week, and frozen for use as needed.
Meals are delivered by a combination of paid drivers and volunteers from the community. Some Meals on Wheels volunteers are from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
Any Chautauqua County senior citizen can receive home meal delivery, if eligible for the program.
Sinclairville 76ers provides home-delivered meals to participants in the towns of Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Gerry and Ellington, as well as the areas of Cassadaga, Stockton and Lily Dale. Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals to participants along the Lake Erie lakeshore from Brocton to Silver Creek, and the village of Forestville.
For more information about Meals on Wheels, including how to start meal delivery for an individual, call 488-9119.