PREBLE COUNTY — County and local “Big Wheels” came together last week to help deliver meals to area senior citizens.
During “Big Wheels for Meals,” March 20-24, the Preble County Council on Aging had guests from the Preble County Medical Center, Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Preble County Library, Preble County Commissioners office — and more — delivering meals to Preble County seniors.
This year marked the third year Preble County has taken part in the national campaign, which has occurred for the past 15 years.
“It’s to raise awareness for senior nutrition programs. We’re lucky enough in Preble County that we have a huge program compared to most communities,” said Ashley Bowers, In-Home Services Manager for the Preble County Council on Aging. “It’s our opportunity to bring leadership from Preble County in and ride along with our drivers so that they can see the true face of senior hunger in the Preble County. To see the needs of seniors and the impact that our drivers and program have the Preble County seniors.”
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the PCCOA started providing congregate and home-delivered meals to seniors in Preble County.
According to PCCOA officials, 106 seniors who receive meals live alone, and 120 meals are delivered each day. In 2016 alone, 20,040 meals were delivered. Every Monday-Friday, 200 miles are driven on four home delivery routes.
Home delivered meals provide more than food. The drivers are trained to provide a wellness check, social interaction, and assistance with small tasks like taking out the trash. According to officials, the program helps combat senior isolation and hunger, promote health, improve quality of life, and empowers seniors to stay at home.
Congregate meal service is a nutrition program which provides nutritionally balanced meals which meet one-third the daily recommended dietary allowance set by the National Research Council, and the dietary guidelines established by the Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA.
According to officials, each client is assessed yearly for both programs.
Individuals aged 60 years and older are invited to the congregate meals, served on weekdays. There is a suggested donation of $2.50. Breakfast is served between 8-10 a.m. at the Midway Restaurant, 601 W. Cumberland St., Lewisburg. There are 10 meal choices. Reservations are appreciated. Lunch is served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Preble County Senior Center, 800 E. St. Clair St. in Eaton. Reservations are preferred. An individual is permitted to enjoy either the congregate meal breakfast, or the lunch each day, but not both in one day.
The home delivered meal program, known as Meals on Wheels, is served in the home setting, and works to improve nutrition of homebound older adults. Meals are delivered between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays.
Congregate and home delivered meals are funded by Title III of the Older Americans Act, allocated funds from the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, PASSPORT, and local tax levy funds.
Anyone interested in congregate or home delivered meals should call the PCCOA at 937-456-4947 or at 1-800-283-5146.
Sponsor a Senior
The Sponsor a Senior program helps to eliminate hunger in the senior citizen population of Preble County. According to PCCOA officials, there are more than 40 seniors on a waiting list to receive home delivered meals. A small donation goes a long way — $12.50 will pay for one week of food, according to Meals on Wheels America. For additional information on how to sponsor Meals on Wheels for area seniors, stop by the PCCOA, or call 937-456-4947.
“Our ability to meet the needs of vulnerable seniors lies in the willingness and generosity of businesses, government and concerned individuals of all ages to contribute in their own way,” Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America said. “It only makes economic sense to enable seniors to stay health and safe at home, but it improves the health and vibrancy of our communities and nation at large.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.