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Meals on Wheels Needs Help Feeding Homebound Seniors
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Wednesday, March 15, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

March for Meals, which served as the impetus for today’s Marie’s Kitchen, is a national fundraiser started during the Nixon administration.

President Richard Nixon signed a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965, creating a national nutrition program for seniors 60 and older. The first known U.S. Meals on Wheels delivery was made in 1954 by a small group of Philadelphia residents bent on helping their senior neighbors extend their independence and health as they age.

Meals on Wheels is now one of the largest most effective social movements in America, with 221 million meals delivered to 2.4 million seniors across America every year.

The Senior Connection in Hailey served 13,000 Meals on Wheels for seniors and other homebound clients between Carey and Sun Valley during 2022. It served another 7,000 meals at The Senior Connection and to those who have been picking up take-home meals curbside since the pandemic.

“We cook a hundred meals a day for Meals on Wheels and another hundred for those who dine in and pick up meals curbside,” said Mary Simms, the Connection’s donor and community relations director.

Many of the seniors no longer cook for themselves so Meals on Wheels provide a nutritional boost. Their favorite meals? Salmon, fish and chips and, of course, the prime rib that’s served up at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This year the Senior Connection hopes to raise $30,000 during March for Meals. A matching challenge is doubling each dollar donated up to $5,000. So far, The Senior Connection has raised about $15,000 so far.

“We provide more than a meal every time we take seniors a meal,” said Simms. “We also provide a safety and wellness check. There are occasional times that we need to contact emergency services.

Twenty-five dollars provides meals for a week for one person; $5 provides a meal for a day.

Donations can be made at https://seniorconnectionidaho.org/donate/. Or, drop off donations at the checkout stands in Atkinsons’ Markets, Village Market and Grocery Outlet.

DID YOU KNOW?

Weekend Meals on Wheels service was recently reinstated in Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Gem, Idaho, Payette, Owyhee, Elmore and Washington counties, thanks to a $162,000 donation by St. Luke’s and SelectHealth. Those meals had been discontinued in October 2022 due to an increase in demand.

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