MIFA to Participate in Nationwide 2016 March for Meals Memphis, Tenn. (February 29, 2016)
MIFA announced today that it will participate in the 14th annual March for Meals, a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meals on Wheels and the homebound and vulnerable seniors who rely on its vital safety net.
With the help of over 100 volunteers, MIFA’s Meals on Wheels program delivers about 1,800 meals to homebound elderly and seniors at congregate nutrition sites each weekday,” said Sally Jones Heinz, MIFA executive director. “This critical service keeps seniors living in independently, healthier at home, and feeling more connected to the community.”
During Community Champions Week (March 14-18) Memphis area government officials will serve meals at MIFA’s congregate sites across the city. Also in March, MIFA will inaugurate Meals on Two Wheels, a midtown bicycle delivery by the Urban Bicycle Ministry. Last March, MIFA launched its Meals on Heels initiative with a jogging group, who deliver meals while running a meals route. Nearly 3,700 older adults in Shelby County are food insecure, which means they have limited physical and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food in order to live actively and healthily.
“Over the next three years, MIFA’s No Hungry Senior program, funded by a grant from The Plough Foundation, will provide nutritional interventions ranging from grocery deliveries to daily hot meals for an additional 2,230 area seniors,” explained Heinz. “Since last May, 475 new meals clients have been added and our goal is to enroll 1,000 more clients in 2016.”
Since 2002, Meals on Wheels America has led this annual awareness campaign in an effort to fill the gap between the seniors served and those in need that is widening due to increased demand with a rapidly aging population combined with declining public and private resources, and rising food, transportation and operational costs. This March, hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs, like MIFA will reach out to their communities to build the support that will enable them to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to America's seniors all year long.
“The Meals on Wheels ‘more than just a meal’ model addresses three of the biggest threats of aging: isolation, hunger and loss of independence,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “More than ever, we must join forces to meet the needs of the fastest growing population in America who want to be able to live at home for as long as they can. It not only makes economic sense to enable seniors to stay healthy and safe at home, but it improves the health and vibrancy of our communities and our nation at large.”
Founded in 1968, MIFA serves 50,000 people annually as it works to unite our community through service. Its mission is to support the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis through high-impact programs. MIFA’s senior programs - Meals on Wheels, Transit, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, and Senior Companion - are designed to promote independence, health, companionship, and dignity.
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits, and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, research, education, and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.