Albertsons parking lot sale raises $4,000 for Meals On Wheels

2014-08-27T16:15:00Z 2014-08-27T23:58:34Z Albertsons parking lot sale raises $4,000 for Meals On WheelsBy ZACH BENOIT zbenoit@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The local Meals On Wheels program got a little extra help Wednesday morning when it received a $4,000 check from a Billings Albertsons grocery store, which raised the money in June through a parking lot sale.

Chris White, store manager of the Albertsons at 511 Central Ave., and other employees presented the check at Wednesday’s board meeting for the Adult Resource Alliance, which operates Meals On Wheels in Billings.

“The generosity of everyone in Billings that brought us stuff to sell at the event and the generosity of everybody that bought that stuff is second to none,” he said.

Meals On Wheels provides one hot meal a day, Monday through Friday, to about 215 homebound senior citizens in Billings, Worden and Laurel.

Bea Ann Melichar, the alliance’s executive director, said that the $4,000 donation will help expand the program to, among other places, bring food to people in the area between Shiloh Road and Laurel.

“It was just an absolutely incredible offer from them to help,” she said.

With preparation and delivery costing a total of $7 a meal, the Alberstons donation will provide more than 570 meals.

For the sale, held on June 28 and called the Community Sale, Albertsons asked people to bring items to the store, which were then sold in a garage-type sale in the parking lot.

White, who helped come up with the idea as a way for the store to give back, said the community response exceeded his expectations and that it was so successful that store staff started planning the 2015 version just two days later.

The donations from the community were enough to mostly fill a semi-trailer and all of the leftover items were donated to Family Service Inc.

“It was a great partnership and an absolutely fantastic event,” White said. “For being a first-time event, it went off pretty much without a hitch. The generosity of this community is just amazing.”

Melichar agreed, saying that the event shows how local groups and businesses can successfully work together for a cause.

“If we didn’t have community partners like Albertsons helping us to raise funds, we wouldn’t be able to provide services like we do now,” she said.

She added that the next Adult Resource Alliance Fundraiser, September Evenings, will also benefit Meals On Wheels. That event is scheduled for Sept. 12 and will feature live music, dinner and auctions.

For tickets or more information, call the Adult Resource Alliance at 259-9666.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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