Southern Maine Agency on Aging welcomed more than 40 community leaders from York & Cumberland Counties last week to volunteer at the eight Meals on Wheels sites across Southern Maine in recognition of the 2023 March for Meals Community Champions Week. Community leaders including town officials, police officers, firefighters, and Agency partners delivered meals to raise awareness of the importance of programs like Meals on Wheels in increasing food security and social connectedness among older adults and adults with disabilities.
The annual March for Meals commemorates the historic day in March 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and established a national nutrition program for adults 60 years and older. This March, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country are joining forces to celebrate more than 50 years of success and garner the support needed to ensure these critical programs can continue to address food insecurity and malnutrition, combat social isolation, enable independence, and improve health for years to come.
“It’s important to note that Meals on Wheels is so much more than just a meal,” said Megan Walton, CEO of Southern Maine Agency on Aging. “Beyond providing nutritious meals to those that need them most, our visits also serve as a wellness check. Our staff and volunteers are trained to check in, ensure clients are safe, and offer a friendly visit along with their deliveries.”
“So many Westbrook residents – and others around Southern Maine – benefit from Meals on Wheels programming,” noted Mayor Michael Foley of Westbrook. “I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to volunteer with the Southern Maine Agency on Aging to deliver meals to those in need and to help raise awareness of the importance of this programming.”
“We commend all of our 2023 Community Champions for stepping up to ensure that Meals on Wheels is there for all of our senior neighbors in need,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “The demand for services is already great and approximately 12,000 Americans are turning 60 every day. We must maintain and expand the programs that have helped so many get through this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. We can’t do it alone. It takes all of us to keep the nationwide Meals on Wheels movement going.”
For more information about how you can volunteer, or if you or a family member might benefit from Meals on Wheels, please visit smaaa.org.