Meals on Wheels joins March for Meals celebration

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.

Meals on Wheels Western South Dakota is participating in the 17th annual March for Meals celebration — bringing to light the importance of senior nutrition — as no senior should go hungry.

All week they have been celebrating Community Champions Week, where community leaders and community members ride along with MEALS volunteers to learn more about the services.

The need is increasing and it’s becoming more significant for the seniors who are served.

As 12,000 Americans turn 60 each day, this program is vital to provide every senior in need with the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable them to live healthy and independent lifestyles in their own homes.

Anna Quinn, director of outreach and communications of Meals on Wheels Western South Dakota, says, “Our services, there is kinda three parts to it. One is that meal and the second is having social connections, having somebody come in and then the third is that safety check. Because if somebody were to fall in their home or something along those lines they might stay on the floor for a couple of days and so if it wasn’t for us delivering meals they get that check every day. And so we’re making sure that they’re safe.”

Donations and volunteers are always in need. Volunteers can commit at any level from multiple times a week to once a month.

Sharon Martin has been delivering meals for over 2 years and says the relationships she has made are a big part of the experience.

Martin says, “It’s satisfying … you connect with these friends that you’re making … the relationships you build even though you’re only in there a brief moment, you might spend a minute in their house, but every week they greet you and thank you. You can share some little tidbit whether it’s the weather or whatever might be going on in the world; it’s the relationship part for me.”

Meals on Wheels Western South Dakota provides meals on weekdays in 45 communities throughout western South Dakota. Participants may enjoy a meal with their friends and neighbors in one of the congregate dining rooms in those communities. For home-bound seniors, volunteers will deliver the meals to their home.

Friday, March 22, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Minneluzehan Senior Center, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender will declare March as National Adult Nutrition Month, and the week of March 18-22 as Nutrition Community Champions Week.

For more information about Meals on Wheels, please contact Meals on Wheels Western South Dakota by phone at 605-394-6002 or through email at info@mealsprogram.com, or by visiting www.mealsprogram.com or www.facebook.com/SDMeals.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News