Pennsylvania Department of Aging Acting Secretary Robert Torres joined Meals on Wheels of Montgomery County to prepare and deliver meals to homebound seniors in observance of March for Meals, an annual Meals on Wheels acknowledgment and celebration for program volunteers and the seniors they serve.
Acting Secretary Torres was joined by Senator Maria Collett, Minority Chair of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee, and volunteers for meal preparation at Ambler Senior Adults Activity Center. Following, Acting Secretary Torres departed the center to begin his 45-minute food delivery route. After completing his deliveries, he returned to Ambler Senior Adults Activity Center to meet local seniors and tour the center.
“Meal delivery services are essential for consumers beyond the assurance they are receiving a consistent, healthy meal,” said Acting Secretary Torres. “My delivery experience today confirmed just how much a friendly face and the social interaction that comes with a meal means to recipients.”
Our nation’s senior population is growing fast – Meals on Wheels America anticipates that it will nearly double by 2060. This quickly rising number means more and more seniors will be at risk of facing hunger and isolation issues. One in four seniors live alone, and while the threat of hunger and isolation is a concern for any senior with limited mobility and declining health, some are also facing financial strain on top of that. Pennsylvania’s aging services network strives to combat those factors year-round by providing seniors with options through in-home meal services, free meals available at senior centers across the commonwealth, and through other essential benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Pennsylvania Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
March 2019 marks the 17th annual March for Meals celebration by Meals on Wheels America, a month-long community collaborative focused on the health and needs of seniors. Meals on Wheels America encourages those celebrating to use the month of March to volunteer, host a fundraising event, or advocate the importance of their services via social media.
In fiscal year 2017-18, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and its network of Area Agencies on Aging provided approximately 9 million home-delivered meals.