“March for Meals” to Support Local Meals on Wheels at HCS
The Winter Olympics may have come to a close, but every day here in Cheshire County an Olympic sized effort takes place to deliver Meals on Wheels to the homes of 450 older adults. During March, National Nutrition Month, Meals on Wheels is raising awareness and funds to continue this essential service that provides not only a nutritious meal, but also a safety check on homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities. This year, Meals on Wheels at HCS will deliver over 138,000 meals.
During the COVID pandemic, requests for Meals on Wheels have increased 36% over pre-pandemic levels. The increasing number of those needing the service, coupled with the increasing cost of food has put a financial strain on the program. “We are working hard to serve everyone who needs the service,” said Gia Farina, Nutrition Program Manager at HCS. “76% of those we deliver to are living alone and nearly half are over the age of 80. Meals on Wheels is incredibly important to their ability to continue to live at home” says Farina. Meals on Wheels is the main meal of the day for most participants, and 67% say they do not have enough money to buy food, especially a healthy variety of food.
Meals consist of an entrée, bread or roll, dessert, and milk. All menus are approved by a registered dietician to meet the nutritional needs of adults over the age of 60. Special diet meals are also available. There is no charge for the meals, but participants can donate for their meal.
March for Meals at HCS aims to raise $15,000 to cover the increase in the cost of food in the last year. People wishing to support Meals on Wheels can participate by “Going for the Gold” and donating food for a month for $100; being a silver medalist by supporting meals for two weeks at the $50 level; or being a bronze medalist by donating $25 for a week of meals.
Donations can be mailed to Meals on Wheels at HCS, 312 Marlboro Street, Keene, NH 03431, or given online.
For more information about Meals on Wheels or to refer a senior to the program, call 603-352-2253