POMEROY — Meals on Wheels kicks off “March for Meals” to help raise money and awareness of their programs.
Serving almost every community in the United States, Meals on Wheels works through a network of independently run programs that allows each group to base their efforts on the needs and resources of their own areas.
This March, hundreds of local Meals on Wheels groups across the country, including the Meigs County program, will reach out to for support in their mission to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to seniors regardless of financial concerns.
People in the community are encouraged to volunteer, donate and speak out about the welfare of seniors for them to live a more healthy, happy and independent lives at home.
The county Council on Aging sponsors the Meals on Wheels in the Meigs area and provides congregate meals through the Senior Nutrition programs.
Meals on Wheels is considered a safety net for seniors, and according to Council on Aging’s Executive Director Beth Shaver, it is more than just a meal.
“Our meals are delivered by trained drivers who often carry treats for pets, bring in the mail and set up the meal if needed. Delivery drivers are trained to spot something out of the ordinary during their visit and report it immediately,” she said. “There are situations the driver will find it necessary to call for emergency services and stay with the person until help arrives.
“Our congregate meals encourage people to come out and socialize if they can. We have activities that promote brain and physical stimulation. It is a place to come and be with other people, and it gives us an opportunity to see how they are getting along and if they might require help in certain areas.”
A small portion of the programs are funded by federal and state funds; the majority of meals delivered by the Council on Aging are funded with local levy dollars, fundraising and contributions.
Shaver said they do what is needed to make sure everyone who needs a meal receives one, but past years have seen decreased funding for many of their programs while the number of those in need has increased.
The Council on Aging has been very resourceful, and established a bakery and catering business to supplement their budget. Close to Home Catering has been successful in raising more than $120,000 this year, all with volunteer support.
“This is why ‘March for Meals’ is so important. We want to people understand just what we do and the services we can offer to the community,” Shaver said.
She welcomes people to visit the Council on Aging to see what they offer. The congregate meal is served between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Activities such as yoga, line dancing, wellness programs and computer classes are offered at the site, and holiday dinners are served throughout the year.
March for Meals will kick off the fundraiser with Basket Bingo and end with a cake baking contest and auction March 31. The public is invited to participate in all activities.
For more information, to sign up for activities or receive an entry for for the baking contest, visit the Council on Aging at 112 Memorial Road in Pomeroy and pick up a copy of their newsletter, or call 740-992-2161.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.