CHARLES CITY, Iowa - Imagine for a moment the plight of a shut-in unable to leave home for food and prepare meals at home.
For one North Iowa community, a savior has come forward to rescue the local Meals on Wheels program.
In September, the Floyd County Medical Center announced it would be pulling out of its Meals on Wheels commitment because of the program's costs having a negative impact on the hospital's Medicare reimbursement. This week, Apple Valley Assisted Living announced that they will take over and start preparing meals beginning January 7th.
Kathryn Hovey counts on the program and remembers getting the bad news.
"I thought 'oh no, what am I gonna do now?' I just surmised that somebody would come up with a plan and somebody else would do it. And I guess the wishes were granted."
She appreciates not only the nutritious meals, but also the sense of companionship.
"I usually ask who they are and we get to know each other and visit a bit. And I'm very happy with the people that come, some of them I've known for years."
According to the Floyd County Medical Center, Meals on Wheels cost the hospital over $245,000 last year, and delivered 10,593 meals. The program is locally paid for by individuals and donations, as well as through the managed care companies United Healthcare and AmeriGroup, but receives no government funding.