March for Meals seeking help for celebration

Meals on Wheels serves about 150 county residents weekly

By Jeff Gilliland - [email protected]

Business leaders and city and county officials are being called on to help serve, package or deliver meals March 18-22 as part of the local March for Meals, the 17th annual monthlong, nationwide celebration of Meals of Wheels and the senior citizens who rely on the program’s services.

The Highland County Community Action Organization has announced that there will be various activities throughout the week, along with a daily drawing and entertainment at the HCCAO Senior Nutrition Program site at 1230 Greenhills Drive, Greenfield (across from the Greenfield library on Jefferson Street), where lunch is served to 40-plus seniors daily.

“We don’t know what they are yet, but we’re working on that,” Amy Faulconer, Senior Nutrition Program site manager, said of the March activities. “We want to get some people to commit to being part of it — local officials and others — doing different things at the senior nutrition site that we don’t do on a normal basis.”

She said some of those things could include someone coming in to do nails or representatives from the Greenfield Historical Society presenting some type of program.

Hours for the Senior Nutrition site are Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with activities starting at 10:30 a.m. Seniors, 60 years of age and older, visit the site for a meal. The program also delivers 110 meals countywide to adults 60 years or older Monday through Friday.

“For many of our seniors, the meal which they receive is the only meal they have to eat all day. For other seniors, the driver is the only person they see all week long,” HCCAO said in a news release.

Faulconer said that due to limited resources, the number of meals delivered to seniors daily has remained fairly consistent in recent years. But she said there is a waiting list for those that would like to have meals delivered, with people being added to and coming off the list regularly.

”The services we provide are a lifeline for seniors of Highland County and the need is rapidly increasing,” said Julia Wise, executive director of HCCAO. “Together, we can keep our senior neighbors well-nourished, feeling safer and more connected to our community as they age.”

The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the day in March of 1972 when President Richard 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. Since 2002, community-based Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate the successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the seniors served and those still in need, the news release said.

“The month of March is a fitting time to not only celebrate the successful history of Meals on Wheels, but also bring us together to support a solution that will strengthen communities into the future,” said Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America, according to the news release. “With 12,000 Americans turning 60 each day, now is the time to invest in these vital programs so that we can provide every senior in need with the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that will enable them to live healthier and independent in their own homes.”

For more information on how to volunteer, contribute or speak out for the seniors in Highland County this March, visit HCCAO.ORG.

If you would like more information about the Senior Nutrition Program, contact Falconer by calling 937-981-2895, or stop by the site for a schedule of activities and a menu for the month.

If you are not able to volunteer your time, the news release said donations for gift bags and prizes are being accepted.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Meals on Wheels serves about 150 county residents weekly

By Jeff Gilliland

[email protected]