During the month of May, Meals on Wheels America joins the nation to mark Older Americans Month – a month-long celebration of seniors and their contributions to local communities and the nation as a whole. The theme for this year’s Older Americans Month is ‘Get Into the Act’ - in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act, and of how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others. Key to active engagement in the community for older adults is the maintenance of good nutrition and health, supported by access to food and nutrition assistance programs available through Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America members.
Since 2014, Meals on Wheels America and Feeding America have been collaborating to increase access to food assistance for older adults through raising awareness about the serious problem of senior hunger, both at the national level and through collaborations between member food banks and senior programs at the local level. Through this effort, we are working to leverage shared innovations and identify tangible solutions to address senior hunger in America.
The wide variance in the economic situations and physical abilities of individual seniors regarding their ability to purchase and prepare food creates a complex environment for those trying to meet their needs. That is why Meals on Wheels America and Feeding America collaborated to create a one-page information summary that illustrates the nutrition safety net, and how food banks and Meals on Wheels programs can work together to assist seniors as they age.
An example of a successful collaboration includes the partnership between the East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) in Tyler, TX and several local Meals on Wheels programs. ETFB provides additional weekend food bags allowing the Meals on Wheels programs to extend their nutrition services for their clients to seven days a week instead of five.
To learn more about this and other such collaborations, please look forward to future joint materials from Meals on Wheels America and Feeding America showcasing innovative, successful and replicable collaborations between food banks and Meals on Wheels programs from across the nation.
*Ucheoma O. Akobundu, PhD, RD is the director of project management and impact at Meals on Wheels America.Tags: Fighting Hunger in Action , Partners