Six months ago, Meals That Connect (formerly known as Senior Nutrition Program of San Luis Obispo County) received the most votes of our two finalists to become the recipient of Verdin’s third annual 24-Hour Give. The Verdin team was touched by Meals That Connect’s passion for their mission, and the tremendous impact they have through providing hot noontime meals and invaluable companionship to seniors in our county.
In 24 hours, our team – along with our tremendous community partners – provided Meals That Connect with a full rebrand, including a new website and collection of tailored marketing materials. As time distances us from those 24 hours, it’s important for us to know that our work was a true benefit to the organization.
Several Verdin team members attended Meals That Connect’s wonderful fundraiser, Night of a Million Meals. The fundraiser inspired us to check in with Meals That Connect and find out how things have been for them since the rebrand. Here’s what Executive Director Elias Nimeh had to say:
Q: To start… how have the past six months been for Meals That Connect in general?
A: The general public has accepted the name Meals That Connect. We get many positive remarks as it is reflecting on our services to seniors every day.
Q: How has Meals That Connect been able to use the materials you received in the 24-Hour Give so far?
A: As you mentioned during the 24-Hour Give, it is taking time to adjust to our new name – but it is easier than I thought! We continue to highlight it in all of our communications. The ads in the Tribune provided more outreach and we are growing faster and our donations have increased from previous years, especially for the 3rd and 4th quarters of our fiscal year.
Q: What are the biggest differences you’ve seen in your organization since the rebrand?
A: Positive input regarding our new name and noticeable increase in donations.
Q: Have you noticed effects of increased visibility?
A: We are getting the normal amount of calls for care giver agencies, but public input with our new name is more positive and more in line with our mission.
Q: Have you noticed a difference in how you and/or the organization’s board, volunteers, etc. feel about Meals That Connect?
A: I feel that this change was very positive with the staff, board and the general public. All comments received have been very complimentary.
Q: As an organization, would you be in a different place now without the rebrand? How would things be different?
A: It feels like the rebranding has given us a new life with some excitement that was missing with Senior Nutrition Program. There was a need for rebranding, and what you did for our organization in the 24-Hour Give was more than I ever expected.
It’s exciting for us at Verdin to see the beginnings of positive impact and growth in the initial six months of the rebrand. We look forward to more inspiring stories as Meals That Connect continues to carry out their mission in our county. Learn more about them at mealsthatconnect.org!