Dear Valued Donors and Supporters,
For 40 years Meals on Wheels of Salem County (“MOWSC”) has served home delivered nutritious meals and the comfort of friendship to home-bound senior and disabled residents in Salem County. For many of our clients Meals on Wheels is more than a source of nutrition, it is a smiling face and a sense of safety as well. This would not be possible without the support of both our generous donors and our dedicated volunteers.
Funding is every charitable organization’s biggest challenge, and over the past several years it has become even more so. Despite our best efforts to rectify the situation, we have not received separate payment of donor-designated funds from the United Way of Salem County for donations made since 2012-2013. This means that if the United Way of Salem County received a donation specified for MOWSC in 2013-2014, 2014-2015 or 2015-2016, we did not receive your name or an accounting of your donation and your donation was commingled by the United Way of Salem County with grant funding already promised to MOWSC by the United Way of Salem County under what the United Way of Salem County calls a “first dollars” policy. Despite repeated requests to the United Way of Salem County, we still do not have a list of donors or a financial accounting for the donations made in 2013-2014, 2014-2015 or 2015-2016. This is deeply concerning to us, not only because we rely on these designations to serve our clients, but also because it does a great disservice to our donors. When funds and donor information are withheld, our mission of serving seniors in Salem County is further hindered.
Our organization operates with integrity, transparency, and a commitment to being good stewards of the dollars that are so generously donated to us. This is why we felt it was necessary to inform the community, many of whom donate to MOWSC through the United Way of Salem County, of this situation. MOWSC has tried in good faith to work with their leadership to come to a resolution, but all attempts have been unsuccessful.
We want to strongly encourage the community and donors to donate directly to MOWSC, to ensure your donation reaches us.
The attached Consent Order entered into between the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection and the United Way of Salem County requires the United Way of Salem County to disclose to Meals on Wheels the details of its “first dollars” policy for distribution of donor-designations. To date the United Way of Salem County has not complied with this provision of the Consent Order.
Again we thank you for your support and dedication; we cannot serve our mission without it.
Carly Melchert, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Salem County