Paul Fant is not new to United Way of the Midlands. In fact, he has been highly engaged with our mission for nearly 20 years. Paul has been a long-time supporter and an Alexis de Tocqueville donor for over a decade and has dedicated thousands of hours in leadership-level volunteer positions, including Chairman of the Board of Directors, a member of the Campaign Committee and the Certification Committee. Paul was also named as our 2015 Humanitarian of the Year, the most prestigious award given by United Way of the Midlands.
It wasn’t until he retired that he became involved with United Way in a different way – hands-on volunteering through Always United, a new affinity group geared toward retirees or those near retirement to give them meaningful opportunities to continue their relationship with United Way even after they have left the workplace. One of his first volunteer experiences on that level was through Meals on Wheels.
“When I knock on the door and have an opportunity to interface with these people who are in need, it’s humbling to see the condition of humanity and how just a meal will make a huge difference,” Paul said. “The residents are always smiling, ready to have a conversation. It’s very rewarding.”
United Way of the Midlands is dedicated to the fight against hunger and food insecurity for our community’s seniors without the resources to provide healthy, nutritious meals for themselves. Senior meal deliveries are not an occasional service. Providing meals for seniors is a 365-day necessity to keep them healthy, keep them in their homes and provide social interactions many do not experience from family or friends.
Nearly three-fourths of the deliveries are to people who are at or below 200% of the national poverty level. Without meal delivery, many of these people would be forced to choose between paying for food, or for medication and household expenses.