For the last 20 years, the Meals on Wheels network has claimed the month of March as its time to join forces to strengthen the impact of its efforts and rally communities around what you all do.
The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. This year, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country are joining forces for the awareness campaign to celebrate 50 years of success and garner the support needed to ensure these critical programs can continue to address food insecurity and malnutrition, combat social isolation, enable independence, and improve health for years to come.
"The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program is the only federally supported program designed to be an antidote for both senior hunger and isolation,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “Despite decades of proven success and bipartisan support, funding for this program has failed to keep pace with the rapidly growing need for its services. With the nation’s senior population increasing dramatically, now is the time to support local Meals on Wheels programs – through volunteering, donating and speaking out – to ensure we are able to deliver for another 50 years.”
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As a Meals on Wheels volunteer, during this COVID crisis it means dropping meals at the door and backing up to a safe distance before the recipient comes to the door. Conversations that have become the norm with the people delivered to now must happen from a distance. But with many people who get Meals on Wheels at elevated risk of complications from COVID-19, they are relying on meals delivered to their home more than ever. “It’s more of a wave with a ‘Hey, how are you doing?’” Our volunteers have to just rest easy knowing that they are still providing much needed food and a friendly face.