2015 March for Meals
Written by Admin | February 27, 2015 | In The News
March for Meals Raises Awareness about Senior Hunger, Nutrition
Evening Meals on Wheels Program Helps Seniors Thrive
Preparing a decent meal can be a challenge at the end of a day for an older adult dealing with frail health. Arthritis, stroke, injury, failing vision or other concerns may cause a senior to simply give up making a nutritious meal.
The lack of good nutrition compromises frail health, becoming a downward spiral. Eventually, the unfortunate result may be unwanted placement in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
The inability to afford a meal is another factor affecting senior health. Food insecurity plagues almost one in six seniors, according to the national Meals on Wheels America. Hunger negatively impacts health, most recently documented in university research published by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. Findings show that food insecure seniors are 50 percent more likely to be diabetic, twice as likely to have gum disease or asthma, and almost 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure or experienced a heart attack.
That’s why the national Meals on Wheels America is leading its 13th annual March for Meals campaign. Member programs nationwide collectively raise awareness about meals on wheels, the issues of senior hunger and nutrition, the need for support, and the critical role of volunteers.
Locally, the Independent Living Evening Meals on Wheels program is vital in helping seniors stay healthy and at home. This program, through its chef-prepared, home-delivered, nutritious meals, is available to any older adult. Several special diets are offered, including vegetarian, diabetic, 2-gram low sodium and gluten-free. A registered dietitian reviews the menu to ensure balanced meals.
The cost of a home-delivered evening meal is $7.65. For seniors who are homebound and food insecure due to a lack of resources, subsidies to cover half the cost of the meal may be available. The nonprofit Evening Meals on Wheels program is fortunate to have support from many local organizations including United Way of Dane County, UW Health & Unity Health Insurance, First Business, Dean & St. Mary’s, WPS Charitable Foundation, Associated Bank, Summit Credit Union, and Gordon Flesch Co.
Key support also comes from volunteers. Caring individuals deliver a nutritious meal, a warm smile, and a safety check that ensures the wellbeing of the person receiving the meal. Nearly 275 volunteers deliver evening meals for Independent Living, which helps keep the program affordable. Father-daughter pairs, individuals, and businesses that adopt routes are among the many volunteers who faithfully make deliveries, even during the recent frigid winter weather in January and February.
The Evening Meals on Wheels program at Independent Living, Inc. is unique because it is the only program of its kind in Dane County. In April 2010, this program achieved Magnet Accreditation at the Exemplary Level from the Meals on Wheels Association of America. In Wisconsin, 36 Meals on Wheels programs are members of MOWAA, and three are accredited; however, only Independent Living has Magnet Accreditation at the exemplary level. It is one of six programs, out of 994 MOWAA-member organizations, to be awarded this rare recognition.
For menus and other information about the Evening Meals on Wheels program, contact Michelle Christenson, manager, at 608-204-0923 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent Living, Inc.
The Evening Meals on Wheels program is one of many services offered by Independent Living, Inc., a local leader and nonprofit agency that has been assisting seniors and adults with disabilities for more than 40 years. Other services include housekeeping, yard work, and errands; personal care including bathing and grooming assistance; home safety changes like ramps, handrails, tub-to-shower conversions and durable medical equipment; home medical care including nursing and therapy (physical, occupational and speech); assistance from volunteers, and senior housing options in Madison, Fitchburg and Sun Prairie. For information about Evening Meals on Wheels or other services at Independent Living, call 608-274-7900 or email meals@IndependentLivingInc.org.
Thank You to March For Meals Sponsors!
|Gordon Flesch Company, Inc.||Summit Credit Union|