Meals On Wheels NEO Joins in Month-long March for Meals Celebration With Communities Nationwide

Support will help to fight senior hunger and isolation in Northeast Ohio AMID THE PANDEMIC AND BEYOND

Akron/Canton, OH (March 15, 2021)  – Meals On Wheels of Northeast Ohio, a program of VANTAGE Aging, announced today that it will be participating in the 19th annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meal on Wheels and our senior neighbors who rely on this essential service to remain healthy and independent at home, now even more so amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meals On Wheels NEO’s celebration will include various activities throughout the month of March, including partnering with community organizations to share information and advocate for the Meals On Wheels program.

“In the last year, we have experienced a significant increase in the demand for our services in Stark, Summit, and Wayne Counties,” said Ted Watko, CEO of VANTAGE Aging. “We have been in awe of the outpouring of support, and there’s still much we can do to ensure everyone in need of our vital lifeline can benefit from being well-nourished and more connected to our community through this challenging time and beyond.”

Each year, Meals On Wheels of Northeast Ohio serves over 500,000 meals to nearly 3,000 seniors. COVID-19 has made the service more important than ever, ensuring that seniors stay safe and healthy by providing nutritious meals and wellness checks.

The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. Since 2002, community-based Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the seniors served and those still in need.

“The pandemic has introduced many of us to the newfound and harsh realities of food insecurity and social isolation – something that far too many seniors experience as their daily norm. More than ever, we must rally around our essential community-based programs that serve as lifelines to a growing number of people in need, to enable their own long-term vitality,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “Even when we make it through this unprecedented time in our nation’s history, there will still be millions of vulnerable older adults who will rely on that familiar knock on the door that provides peace of mind and hope beyond the meal itself. Please join us in celebrating the power and importance of Meals on Wheels this March and always.”

For more information on how you can volunteer, contribute or speak out for the seniors in Stark, Summit, and Wayne Counties this March, visit https://vantageaging.org/.

About VANTAGE Aging

VANTAGE Aging promotes a positive perspective on aging to ensure that every older adult has the opportunity to live a healthy life and age with independence, purpose and dignity.. Non-medical in-home care is provided by Home Wellness Solutions. Job training for low-income adults age 55 and older is offered through the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Evidenced-based volunteering to meet local and national needs is provided by RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers. Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides home-delivered and congregate meals to provide nutritional support to the homebound and disabled. Overall, VANTAGE’s programs come together to offer a path for positive aging. Founded in 1975 as a senior citizen program, VANTAGE has since become an independent, nationally respected organization with offices throughout the state. For more information, call 330-253-4597 or visit www.vantageaging.org.

Contact Information:

Amina Hall

Director of Community Engagement

Meals On Wheels of Northeast Ohio, a program of VANTAGE Aging

330-253-4597 x160

ahall@vantageaging.org

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