Too many senior citizens in Idaho — and across the country — are alone and hungry, struggling to stay healthy and independent. One in seven seniors face hunger or food insecurity on a regular basis. In the Gem State, 29,202 seniors are struggling with hunger, and 72,589 feel isolated and are living alone.
Meals on Wheels provides a proven win-win solution. Much more than a meal, Meals on Wheels effectively addresses the challenges of aging by promoting health and improving the quality of life for our most vulnerable seniors. The food is critical to the seniors, but the program is so much more, as evidenced by the seniors who receive meals:
▪ 87 percent say it makes them feel more safe and secure.
▪ 83 percent say it improves their health.
▪ 92 percent say it enables them to remain independent, living at home.
Meals on Wheels also makes tremendous economic sense and saves taxpayers billions of dollars each year by keeping seniors out of costly healthcare settings. Meals on Wheels can provide meals for a year for the same cost as a single day in the hospital. The program enables seniors to avoid far more costly healthcare alternatives, such as unnecessary trips to the emergency room, hospitalizations and placement in nursing homes. It also helps decrease the rate of falls.
In Ada County alone, Metro Meals on Wheels delivers and serves over 900 meals each weekday, plus more than 700 frozen meals for the weekend. We not only provide important nutrition for seniors, but also critical independence.
The community can support Metro Meals on Wheels and the seniors we serve. A mere half hour of your time on Saturday can mean a hot, nutritious meal for a senior citizen. Metro Meals on Wheels’ March for Meals “march” event is 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., at Kleiner Park in Meridian. Attending will be a big help because it will:
▪ Raise awareness of the issue of senior hunger and food insecurity.
▪ Celebrate Meals on Wheels, a proven solution to the issue.
▪ Provide meals for our local seniors — while there is no entry fee for the march, Food Services of America will donate $5 (cost of a meal) for each marcher.
▪ Help Metro Meals on Wheels reach the goal of the largest March for Meals “march” event in the country.
▪ Be a great excuse to enjoy a short walk in beautiful Kleiner Park.
▪ Allow you to experience unique music and entertainment by “Prime Time Swingers” and enjoy delicious homemade cookies by Metro Meals on Wheels cooks.
Join us Saturday. Your participation will make a huge statement about the need to end senior hunger and food insecurity in Ada County — and provide an important meal for a local senior.
Grant Jones is the director of Metro Meals on Wheels.