Former Shepard Elementary principal brings new leadership to Columbia Meals on Wheels

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | 7:19 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — JoNetta Weaver, a former principal at Shepard Elementary School, believes her skills as a leader of hundreds of students and teachers will help in her new role as director of Columbia Meals on Wheels.

Weaver began her position Tuesday after being chosen by the organization's board of directors.

"We are very excited to have her on board," said Jennifer Barth, president of Meals on Wheels' board of directors. "We believe her skills and experience in building relationships with different audiences as an educator will transfer to her work with Meals on Wheels." 

Meals on Wheels, which has been in Columbia for more than 39 years, uses volunteers to serve between 120 and 150 meals every day, according to the organization's website.

Weaver said she applied for the job because her mother is currently in assisted care, and she feels a personal connection to the organization's mission. 

People rely on Meals on Wheels as a way of staying in their own homes rather than moving into an assisted living facility, Weaver said. 

Weaver hopes to get the word out about the organization's services among older people. 

Meals on Wheels will sustain funding cuts after the Heart of Missouri United Way announced in January that their sole funding focus will be at risk youths and families in poverty starting in 2013, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

"A hurdle we have to overcome is the elimination of one of our funding sources," Weaver said. "One of our goals is to get the word out for volunteers and create fundraising opportunities that will allow us to keep serving the wonderful people that we serve."

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.


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