The Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) represents Senior Nutrition Program member organizations in all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Together these community-based organizations serve one million meals to seniors each day. Some meals are provided through senior centers and others are delivered directly to the homes of older adults across the country. Two million volunteers work hand-in-hand with thousands of employees to make this all happen every day.
Sadly, these efforts are not enough. The threat of hunger looms large for one in six seniors in the United States. Between 2001 and 2011, the risk for senior hunger rose by 88%. That translates to 8.3 million older adults in our country who are in danger of not having enough food. By 2025, that number is expected to climb to 9.5 million seniors who face food insecurity.
Meals on Wheels has a vision to end senior hunger by 2020. The funds they raise help to support their Four Pillars strategy for eradicating the threat of hunger for older adults. The Four Pillars are:
- The National Campaign for Community Impact helps provide grants to allow member programs to provide the next meal to at risk seniors.
- The Meals on Wheels Leadership Academy helps develop and train leaders in what the organization feels are key operational areas for Senior Nutrition Program success: nutrition, leadership, finance, development communication and volunteer management.
- The National Response to Senior Hunger through which the organization raises awareness, conducts research, and develops important partnerships.
- Capacity Building is an effort to continuously improve internal capabilities so operating expenses can be kept low. Management and fundraising expenses for the organization currently account for only 15% of MOWAA’s budget.
The organization’s key initiatives include:
- March for Meals. A national campaign held every year during the month of March to encourage Mayors and other government officials to deliver senior meals in an effort to raise awareness.
- Meals for Moms. Held in May to coordinate with Mother’s Day, MOWAA uses this campaign to collect e-cards and greeting cards to deliver to homebound senior moms. Money collected during the campaign is used to fund home delivered meals to senior mothers the following year.
- Emergency Preparedness. Utilizing a grant from FEMA, Mobile Meals trains Senior Nutrition Program staff on how to develop and implement plans to deliver meals in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
- Common Goods. This cooperative program helps Senior Nutrition Programs nationwide join forces and leverage their purchasing power for vehicles, food and supplies.
Because Meals on Wheels has a strong track record of cost-effectively developing programs to help defeat senior hunger, The Bristal has chosen them as one of the recipients of our Pay-It-Forward outreach. For every “Like” our Meals on Wheels posts receive on Facebook from 12/08/13 through 12/21/13 we will donate $1 to the organization, up to $2,500. Show your support for this great cause by sharing our posts with your friends on Facebook and encouraging them to “Like” these Facebook posts, too.