Meals on Wheels: Providing Peace of Mind for Loved Ones Near and Far
Updated: Feb 12, 2019
It brings me pleasure to write about the Meals on Wheels program that is offered to our Senior Community, as well as others that are homebound. I was first familiar with this service when my dad lived in Cody, alone and in need of some assistance. At that time, I was living in California so it provided comfort to know he received a fresh cooked hot meal Monday thru Friday, as well as other frozen meals he selected to have on hand.
Many years later as a resident of Cody, my employer at that time announced the need for volunteers at the Senior Center to deliver these meals. I volunteered to donate one lunch hour a week, as did several other employees and I have been at it now for 7 years.
It’s such a rewarding service to be a part of. The seniors or homebound persons I deliver to, are very happy to see me and we have a quick chat once a week. Some of them have no family around to visit them, so it is a pleasure to be a small part of their day and bring them an occasional treat or a holiday plate that they would not otherwise have.
A little bit about the program:
The first US delivery was by a small group of Philadelphia citizens in 1954.
The intention of the program is to extend the seniors’ independence and health as they age.
Currently it is one of the largest and most effective social movements in America, currently helping approximately 2.4 million seniors annually.
While we celebrate the increase in lifespan, maintaining health while aging comes with a price. Without programs like Meals on Wheels, millions of seniors are forced to prematurely trade their homes for nursing facilities.
We can provide a senior resident 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, saving us all billions of dollars in unnecessary Medicaid and Medicare expenses every year.
The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence.
If you want a bright spot in your life, deliver meals. They need it and are so appreciative.