March for Meals to raise awareness of need
Last updated 3/1/2022 at 2:42pm | View PDF
Silver Key announced that it will be participating in the 50th annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meal on Wheels and our senior neighbors who rely on this essential service to remain healthy and independent at home, now even more so amid the ongoing pandemic. Silver Key’s celebration will include various activities throughout the month of March, including Silver Key’s celebration honoring those in the community that make Meals on Wheels a possibility throughout the month of March. Silver Key will also have community dignitaries and local celebrities onsite volunteering during Community Champions Week, March 21-25, to help gain awareness and visibility for this cause.
“Since the pandemic began, we have experienced a 71-percent increase in the demand for delivered meal services — 7 percent more in just the past year alone in the Pikes Peak region,” said Derek Wilson, chief strategy officer for Silver Key Senior Services. “We have been in awe of the outpouring of support, but there’s still much we can do to ensure everyone in need of our vital lifeline can benefit from being well-nourished and more connected to our community through this challenging time and beyond.”
Silver Key experienced a tremendous increase for home-delivered meals when COVID-19 first began. After the initial increase, it has continued to grow and become apparent that reaching isolated seniors (particularly on fixed incomes) is a great need. Silver Key delivered over 51,000 meals throughout 2021.
The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates 50 years ago the historic day in March of 1972 when President Richard 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. Since 2002, community-based Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the seniors served and those still in need.
“We commend all of our 2022 Community Champions for stepping up in support of Meals on Wheels amid such an unprecedented time in our nation’s history,” said Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “Despite decades of proven success and bipartisan support, funding for this program has failed to keep pace with the rapidly growing need for its services. With the nation’s senior population increasing dramatically, now is the time to support local Meals on Wheels programs – through volunteering, donating and speaking out – to ensure we are able to deliver for another 50 years.”
For more information on how you can volunteer, contribute or speak out for the seniors in the Pikes Peak region this March, visit http://www.silverkey.org/champion.