A $15,000 to help with the Senior Nutrition Pet Support Program has been received by Highland County Community Action.
The funding will be used to provide food and supplies, medication, expanded access to veterinary care, and grooming services for the pets of Meals on Wheels clients, which can often be a financial and physical challenge for older adults to manage on their own, a news release said.
“An important part of a senior’s health and well-being hinges on ensuring a sense of connection, reducing isolation,” HCCAO Director of Social Services Christi Hauke said. “Pets play a key role in this. This gives us one more more tool in our set of programs to help.”
Funding for the grant was made possible through a partnership between Meals of Wheels America and PetSmart Charities as pat of the Meals of Wheels America’s strategic effort to combat social isolation and loneliness among seniors across the country. This year, Meals of Wheels America and Pet Smart Charities awarded $601,538 in grants to 79 local Meals of Wheels programs through the Meals of Wheels Loves Pets initiative. One if our seniors lives along and for many of them their pet is their closest companion. This funding helps to ensure they can live happy, healthy lives together, the news release said.
“Having the company of a pet not only makes home bound seniors feel less lonely but also improves their physical and mental well-being,’ said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “Yet, nearly half of the clients receiving pet assistance from Meals on Wheels don’t have anyone else to help them with their pet needs. That’s why we’re so appreciative of our growing partnership with PetSmart Charities. It makes it possible for us to continue to invest Meals of Wheels Loves Pets grants in local Meals on Wheels programs, like Highland County Community Action Senior Nutrition Pet Support, to provide critical supplies, care and assistance.”
The Highland County Community Action Senior Nutrition Program is a non-profit, community-based organization committed to providing meal delivery services to home bound seniors in Highland County so that they can stay in their homes longer. Meal delivery to a senior daily also provides a safety check to ensure they are doing OK.
Information for this story was submitted by Laura Bosier, executive assistant, Highland County Community Action Org. Inc.