CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – The 13th annual March for Meals campaign is led by the Meals On Wheels Association of America and gives us an opportunity to support our nation’s seniors in ways to make our communities stronger and healthier. Mary Jenewin-Caplin, Director of Greater Springfield Senior Services Incorporated, Tracy Landry, Home Delivered Meal Program Supervisor, Linda Galarneau, Nutrition Specialist/Program Supervisor joined us with the details!
Greater Springfield’s events:
Monday, March 16, 2015: Mayor Domenic J. Sarno will attend our senior community dining center at Greenleaf Senior Center/Clodo Concepcion Community Center, 1187 ½ Parker Street, Springfield at 12 noon to meet the seniors to celebrate and proclaim March 16 – 20, 2015 March for Meals week in the City of Springfield.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015: State Representative Angelo Puppolo, Jr. will attend our senior community dining center at the Wilbraham Senior Center, 45 Post Office Park, Wilbraham at 11:30 a.m. to meet senior attendees’ to celebrate March for Meals week.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015: Ashley Kohl, WWLP MassAppeal co-host/co-producer will assist our Home Delivered Meal Supervisor and home delivered driver to deliver a meal (and a balloon) to a client in celebration of March for Meals week.
Thursday, March 19, 2015: Falcons mascot, Screech, will attend our senior community dining center at Baystate Place, 414 Chestnut Street, Springfield at 11:30 a.m. to meet the seniors to celebrate March for Meals week.
Friday, March 20, 2015: State Representative Todd Smola will attend our senior community dining center at the Palmer Senior Center, 1029 Central Street, Palmer at 11:30 a.m. to meet the seniors to celebrate March for Meals week.
The March for Meals Celebration:
Meals on Wheels programs throughout the country serve a nutritious meal, a warm smile and offer the safety check that keep over 2.5 million seniors a year healthy and living in their own homes and also offer meals to others in Senior Community Dining Centers.
In the month of March, hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs are mobilizing and reaching out to their communities and building the support that will help sustain them all year long. This effort is a dynamic and effective partnership between the national network of local Meals on Wheels programs and the businesses, organizations, governments and volunteers who contribute so generously in their communities.
The 13th annual March for Meals campaign is led by the Meals On Wheels Association of America and gives us an opportunity to support our nation’s seniors in ways to make our communities stronger and healthier.
Seniors in America
The number of seniors facing the threat of isolation and hunger is devastatingly high and quite hard to comprehend. Nearly one in six seniors in America – a total of 9.3 million – may not know when they will have their next meal or where it will come from. Whether their lack of mobility keeps them from driving to the grocery store or standing over a stove to prepare a meal – or if they lack the funds to keep up with the quickly increasing cost of food – the issue has sadly become a national epidemic. To compound the situation, the number of seniors in America is predicted to double by the year 2050. Without significant intervention, that means that over 18 million seniors will be hungry in this country.
There is a direct and important connection between nutrition and disease treatment and management for all seniors. Food is medicine. As we age we require less calories and more nutrient dense food. Seniors who are well-nourished are less likely to be re-hospitalized and suffer poor outcomes. Well-nourished senior’s medications work more effectively. Well-nourished seniors spend less time in the hospital and have more tolerance for critical treatments such as chemotherapy. Whether seniors receive this hot, nutrition meal at their home or at one of the Senior Dining Centers; GSSSI has been committed to the Meals on Wheels program for over 40 years.
“Meals on Wheels” provides home delivered meals to eligible seniors to help them maintain their independence safely in their homes. Hot nutritious meals are delivered to recipients Monday-Friday (excluding holidays). All meals provide one-third of the recommended dietary allowances for protein, calories and nutrients. Meals are prepared with “no added salt” and typically do not exceed 1300 milligrams of sodium; except for two (2) “high sodium” meals offered each month.
Meal Types include:
Modified Meals for those who require a dietetic dessert.
All meals can be provided in pureed form. For those who are without formal or informal supports and are unable to prepare meals; Cold Suppers and Frozen Weekend Meals may also be available. In addition, shelf stables meals are provided for those times when delivery is not possible due to inclement weather conditions.
Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc. (GSSSI) offers Home Delivered Meals to residents of:
Springfield (Traditional, Modified & Kosher) Brimfield (Traditional & Modified)
Hampden (Traditional & Modified) Holland (Traditional & Modified)
Longmeadow (Kosher) Palmer (Traditional & Modified)
Wales (Traditional & Modified) Wilbraham (Traditional & Modified)
In 2014, Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc. delivered nearly 300,000 meals to seniors in the eight communities listed above. Additionally, our compassionate, caring Home Delivered Meal drivers must “see” the client when they deliver the meal to verify their wellness. For some, this is the only communication they have with the outside world.
In 2014, Greater Springfield Senior Services’ Senior Community Dining centers served nearly 52,000 seniors that are able to leave their homes and enjoy a hot, nutritious meal as well as the friendship and camaraderie of others their age. This time to socialize and “break bread” with their peers is as critical to their mental health and well-being as the nutritious meal is to their physical health. These meals are served at senior centers, community centers and faith-based organizations. Greater Springfield Senior Services offers a nutritious, hot lunch at 16 senior community dining centers in 6 different communities: Brimfield; Hampden; Holland; Palmer; Wilbraham and Springfield (11 sites).
For information on all senior services in our community area please call: 413 781-8800