Aging is Not for the Faint of Heart – That’s Why We Have Meals on Wheels

March 9, 2018 5:10 pm

The month of March marks the national Meals on Wheels advocacy event, March for Meals. As a member of Meals on Wheels America and serving all of Monmouth County with the Meals on Wheels program, we hope you will join us.

Advocate because right now, nearly one in every six seniors in this country may not know where their next meal is coming from.

Volunteer and reduce isolation and hunger among your senior neighbors.

Give to ensure that we have the resources we need to serve all that are in need of meals and companionship.

Even the most independent among us, if fortunate to live long enough, may experience a decline in mobility or health that can strip away our independence.  And, it is predicted that seniors as a percentage of the population will grow from 18% to 26% by 2050. Without programs like Meals on Wheels, many seniors can be forced to prematurely trade their homes for nursing facilities.  We can provide a senior Meals on Wheels for an entire year for roughly the same cost as spending one day in the hospital or ten days in a nursing home.

Some deliveries are heartrending: bringing a meal to a man paralyzed from an accident and bound in bed watching movies or an ailing mother in a small apartment with television for company and a cell phone that is her lifeline to a son at work.

Many recipients are up and about at home but no longer able to do their own shopping or cooking. Others are able to leave their home and go to one of our group congregate sites for their lunch meal.

What they all share is what the Meals on Wheels program offers: balanced nutrition, independence and daily interaction that breaks through the loneliness that can set in for many in the later years of their lives.

“Meals on Wheels matters because it keeps elders in their home and out of institutional care,” Sandi Silber, Interfaith’s Director of Nutrition, said. “We also provide daily checks, and sometimes we’re the only people they see on a given day. These elders are not statistics, but are our parents and grandparents.”

Paul McEvily, Co-Executive Director, once said that everyone who works for Interfaith Neighbors in its different programs should take the opportunity once a year to deliver meals to homebound seniors and gain understanding on why Meals on Wheels matters so much.

Nationally, more than 2 million volunteers deliver Meals on Wheels. At Interfaith Neighbors, we have a force of approximately 500 volunteers, kitchen staff and paid drivers who operate the Monmouth County program.

Interfaith Neighbors serves 900 to 1,000 meals a day and an additional 500 breakfasts in areas where needed most to home bound seniors and at seven senior center congregate sites in Asbury Park, Neptune, Howell, Red Bank, Middletown, Keansburg and Keyport.

Interfaith Neighbors has operated the Meals on Wheels Program in Monmouth County since 1991. The program is supported by federal funding through the Monmouth County Office on Aging and through individual, corporate and private foundation support.

To learn more about volunteering, call Diane at 732.775.0525, ext., 227.

To donate, visit our website at interfaithneighbors.org or call Stephanie at 732.775.0525, ext. 220.

Together, we stand and

Together, we deliver.

 

 

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