Elizabeth Davila, the founder and president of Momma’s Kitchen — a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on addressing food insecurity issues — and board of directors members Anne Jones, Belinda Allen, and Chris Zollinger will be at the St. George Senior Center Nov. 21 at noon to donate kitchen equipment, a commercial steamer, and $2,000 to the center and Memory Matters of Utah. The center will provide lunch at the event on a donation basis.
“Our goal is not only to feed those in need, but to create a sense of value, self-worth and inclusion that enhances their quality of life,” Davila said. “This is a vision that both organizations are very aligned with as well.”
The donations come as the two-year-old organization closes its doors, donating all assets and funding to other charitable organizations. Momma’s Kitchen assessed food security programs and nonprofits in the community and came to the decision that collaborating with successful organizations and programs would be the best way to support the community. The board of directors agreed to provide Memory Matters of Utah with the commercial equipment and cash and the St. George Senior Center with the remaining kitchen equipment.
Over the past 24 months, Momma’s Kitchen struggled with procuring a facility and capital campaign funding.
“Two years ago, I started a nonprofit to feed those in need,” Davila said. “Last year, I had the privilege of taking courses with Utah Nonprofits Association and really got to see how nonprofits work, manage, and write grants to keep their doors open. Many times, people have no idea when they see a fundraiser or charity event how important it is to collect every dollar just to keep the doors open. In today’s economy, there aren’t enough grants to go around. If every person in Washington County gave just $1 to one nonprofit, that would be $138,000, a considerable amount for any nonprofit. As a responsive, engaged member of our community, I employ our residents to give. Don’t hesitate to give that $1 or more.”
Memory Matters of Utah has also been working on raising funds for a kitchen remodel at its location.
“The money we receive from Momma’s Kitchen will be earmarked to feed seniors in our activity classes and at our new adult day activity center when the remodel is complete,” Said LuAnn Lundquist, executive director said.
“On average, we serve 375 local seniors on site each week,” said Washington County Council on Aging St. George Center supervisor Jeanne Johnson. “We also cook and deliver 240 meals per weekday to St. George and surrounding areas through the Meals On Wheels program. On the weekend, we serve 480 meals a day on average. This kitchen equipment will help us to serve healthy, delicious meals more efficiently.”
“I am grateful and would like to thank all my donors, board members and volunteers who helped with fundraisers and grant writing,” Davila said. “Though my goal was not reached, I had numerous accomplishments that exceeded my expectations. The awareness is out in the community, kitchen equipment will be donated to the Washington County Senior Center and cash donations to Memory Matters of Utah. That is a blessing in itself. Many blessings to all!”
The St. George Senior Center is located at 245 N 200 W in St. George.
The Washington County Council on Aging’s mission statement is to provide programs and activities at the Senior Citizen Centers that will enable residents of Washington County who are 60 years of age or older to live healthy and independent lives and to be treated with respect and dignity. It currently has three Senior Centers — located in St. George, Hurricane, and Enterprise — and one meal site in Springdale. Each of these locations serves lunch. The three Senior Centers also offer a wide variety of activities to include exercise classes, art classes, recreation, health screenings, computer instruction, entertainment, and transportation.
Memory Matters Utah Nevada meets the growing needs of the senior population in southern Utah and Mesquite experiencing memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Memory Matters is a 501(c)(3) local service organization operating in southern Utah and Mesquite, Nevada. Memory Matters believes in passionately empowering both individuals and caregivers with resources, information, and guidance. Memory Matters provides free and low-cost local activities, support, education, and consultation services to the public. More information about Memory Matters in available at memorymattersuta.org or by calling (435) 319-0407.