The Need

pic_volunteer13In March 2008, the Meals on Wheels Association of America Foundation released a research study entitled, “The Causes, Consequences and Future of Senior Hunger in America.” While the study focused on people ages 60 and older, the findings very likely would be similar for younger adults with disabilities.

“Among seniors, those with limited incomes, under age 70, African-Americans, Hispanics, never-married individuals, renters, and persons living in the South are all more likely to be at-risk for hunger. At the same time, the risk of hunger extends up into the income and weath distributions.”

“Low intakes of essential nutrients present a serious threat to the health of elderly persons in the United States. These nutritional deficiencies can have serious consequences including diminishing immune response, longer hospital stays, impairment in physical function, premature institutionalization, reduced activity levels and higher risks of coronary heart disease.”

“…seniors without access to emotional and financial support are substantially more likely to suffer from hunger.”

“We found that after controlling for other relevant factors in the senior population, seniors are more likely to be at-risk of hunger if they are ages 60 to 64, poor, African-American or Hispanic, a high school dropout, divorced or separated, living with a grandchild, or a renter.”

Benefits
Having a friendly volunteer deliver a noon meal Monday through Friday insures that the frail individual has a well-balanced meal. A home delivered meal helps combat hunger and prevent malnutrition.

In addition, daily contact with the volunteers who deliver meals helps to prevent emotional and mental depression which are synonymous with social isolation. Volunteers and clients benefit by forming friendships and brighten each others day.

Volunteers report unmet needs they discover while delivering meals and staff members work to meet those needs. It may be investigating a gas leak, providing a heater or electric fan, finding someone to make a small home repair, etc.

Sometimes the person delivering a meal will find a client in a life threatening situation and make arrangements for emergency care. It could be someone who has fallen and broken a hip. It could be someone who is in a coma.

For more information go to our Information Request form or call us at 325-672-5050. YOU can help brighten someone’s day!