Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) announced that it will be participating in the 21st annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meals on Wheels and older adults in our community who rely on this essential service to remain healthy and independent at home.
CVCOA’s celebration will include featuring 13 partner meal sites on social media throughout the month of March, encouraging community members to donate directly to each of these organizations, attend congregate meals, and consider volunteering to support these important programs. Some of these partner organizations will be offering special events and congregate meals throughout the month in celebration of March for Meals. Community members can find their local meal site by visiting www.cvcoa.org/meal-programs to contribute directly and learn more about attending a meal.
CVCOA provides funding and technical assistance to 13 partner meal sites throughout Central Vermont. In Fiscal Year 2022, these sites provided 217,497 home-delivered, congregate, and grab-and-go meals to 1,794 meal clients. The demand for meals continues to increase in Central Vermont as our communities continue to age. The funding provided to these meal sites by CVCOA through the Administration for Community Living and the Older Americans Act only supports approximately one third of the funding needed for nutritious meals. As inflation continues to impact staple food items, meal sites and the organizations that support the programs are becoming increasingly strained.
“We urge everyone to support meal programs for older adults in Central Vermont,” said Kimberly Lipinski, Nutrition and Wellness Director at CVCOA. “There’s still much we can do to ensure everyone in need of this vital lifeline can benefit from being well-nourished and more connected to our community through this challenging time and beyond.”
Nationally, 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 meal program for people 60 years and older. This critical support and federal funding has fueled the growth of the Meals on Wheels network for more than 50 years.
During the month, community-based Meals on Wheels programs from across the country will join forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the resources needed to reach every older adult in need of a nutritious meal, friendly visit, and safety check.
“March is an important time for us to come together 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 on how you can volunteer, contribute to your local meal site, or speak out for older adults in Central Vermont this March, visit www.cvcoa.org. To view the featured photos and stories from all 13 partner meal sites during the month of March, please visit www.facebook.com/cvcoa. For information about receiving home-delivered meals, please contact the CVCOA Helpline at 1-802-477-1364.
Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) supports older Central Vermonters to age with dignity and choice in 54 towns. Visit the CVCOA website at www.cvcoa.org or call the CVCOA Helpline at 1-802-477-1364 for more information or assistance. CVCOA is located at 59 North Main Street, Suite 200 in Barre with regional offices located in Morrisville, Randolph, South Royalton and Rochester.