This year March for Meals honored the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program. The Southeast Ohio Foodbank, part of HAPCAP’s Food and Nutrition division, joined the national Meals on Wheels network to raise awareness and rally support. This vital public-private partnership provides the seniors in Hocking and Athens counties with an essential service to remain healthy and independent at home.
“Meals on Wheels means that people like me with little money can look forward to something to eat every day. [There are] people out there who care about us, and I want to thank every driver who has brought me my meals.” – A Meals on Wheels Participant.
The Southeast Ohio Foodbank partnered with local businesses to support the cause. We want to send a special thank you to Friendly Paws for hosting a pet food and fundraising drive. A big thanks also goes to Jackie O’s and Buffalo Wild Wings who hosted a March for Meals night and donated a portion of each meal to support our senior neighbors.
The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President 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. The legislation helps fund community-based programs like Meals on Wheels, but fundraising is vital to the continued success of this program.
“Despite decades of proven success and bipartisan support, funding for this program has failed to keep pace with the rapidly growing need for its services. With the nation’s senior population increasing dramatically, now is the time to support local Meals on Wheels programs – through volunteering, donating, and speaking out – to ensure we can deliver for another 50 years,” said Ellie Hollander, President, and CEO of Meals on Wheels America.
This critical program addresses food insecurity and malnutrition. It combats social isolation and enables independence. We’ll continue to advocate for the needs of our older adult community members so that we can support healthier lives for years to come.