March for Meals 2014
Written by Admin | March 3, 2014 | In The News
March for Meals is an important national campaign to raise awareness and critical support for senior meals. The campaign is led by Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), and the key goals are to attract volunteers and dollars for local programs.
MOWAA estimates that almost 1 in 6 seniors faces the threat of hunger. According to the 2010 Census, 50,144 residents in Dane County were age 65 or older which results in more than 8,000 seniors possibly facing hunger. The reasons vary why seniors face hunger. For some, it’s a heart-wrenching financial decision between groceries and medication or heat. For a few, it is a cognitive decline, a lack of comprehension about how to make a meal or that it is time to eat. For others, it is an injury or lingering, debilitating illness that makes meal preparation exhausting.
Meals on Wheels provides seniors a healthy option. Independent Living, Inc. operates the only Evening Meals on Wheels program in Dane County. In 2013, more than 35,000 fresh, hot, nutritious meals were delivered to seniors by nearly 275 diligent, caring volunteers. Volunteers are the backbone of the program. They are especially important because, in addition to meal delivery, they offer social interaction and a safety check for seniors.
The Evening Meals on Wheels program is unique. It is the only program in Wisconsin to earn the highest level of accreditation from MOWAA. Furthermore, unlike noon meal counterparts, the Evening Meals on Wheels program receives no federal or state funding. Instead, Independent Living relies on local fundraising to help support the program, keep meals affordable and provide subsidies for low-income elders.
Independent Living, Inc. is one of many Meals programs nationwide to join MOWAA in the effort to ensure that no senior goes hungry.
Also joining the effort to feed local seniors are several businesses, who have become sponsors of the Independent Living Meals on Wheels program. Their support augments special fundraising efforts during March for Meals.
Significant sponsors are UW Health & Unity Health Insurance, First Business Bank and Mid-West Family Broadcasting. Additional key sponsors are Dean & St. Mary’s Hospital, Associated Bank and WPS Health Insurance, with supporting sponsorships from CUNA Mutual Group, Gordon Flesch Co., Summit Credit Union and Wegner CPAs.