BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Council on Aging of Central Oregon, together with its local partners and the national Meals on Wheels network, are raising awareness of the issues of food insecurity and malnutrition among the nation’s older adult population. Throughout March, the Council on Aging will honor the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program that helps fund community-based programs like Meals on Wheels.
Meals on Wheels provides meals, delivered up to five times a week, to homebound seniors who can no longer shop for or prepare their own meals. There is no income qualification for the program. In addition to preventing hunger and malnutrition, the program helps to reduce social isolation while fostering independence, dignity, and self-respect among those who are aging.
“Our Meals on Wheels program is essential to ensuring the nutritional security of so many older Oregonians throughout our region, and community donations and volunteer support are pillars of these programs,” said CoA executive director Susan Rotella. “Every bit of help is vitally important, and we hope our message will reach individuals or organizations who may be interested in supporting this valuable program.”
Meals on Wheels is an effective and critical public-private partnership through which Central Oregon community-based programs – aided by hundreds of local supporters and volunteers – address senior hunger and isolation issues. The nutritious Meals on Wheels meals, friendly visits, and safety checks they provide each day help to ensure that our nation’s older adults live more nourished and independent lives in their own homes, saving the country costly and preventable healthcare expenditures.
Meals on Wheels has been an essential safety net for five decades. The onset of the COVID-19 health and economic crises resulted in skyrocketing demand for services here in the tri-county.
The Council on Aging seeks to inspire community donations in support of its nutrition services, recruit new volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program, and create broader public awareness of the range of nutrition supports offered to older Central Oregonians by the Council on Aging and its partners. In 2021, in partnership with our Meals on Wheels senior center partners in Redmond, Prineville and Madras, we served almost 100,000 home delivered Meals on Wheels meals.
Please consider supporting this important program at www.councilonaging.org/donate. If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out to the Meals on Wheels provider in your town:
- Bend, Sisters or La Pine: www.councilonaging.org/volunteer or call (541) 678 5483
- Redmond Senior Center: https://redmondseniors.org/volunteer/ or call (541) 548-6325
- Prineville Senior Center Charitable Trust: (541) 447-6844
- Madras/Jefferson County Senior Center: (541) 475-1148
For updates and news about services and resources for older adults in Central Oregon, visit the Council on Aging website at www.councilonaging.org or follow the Council on Aging’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CouncilOnAgingOfCentralOregon.
About the Council on Aging of Central Oregon
Since 1975, the Council on Aging has served as the designated Area Agency on Aging for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, offering adults aged 60 and older and their loved ones a range of support services. A non-profit organization, the Council on Aging advocates for, empowers and guides older adults and their loved ones to live with independence and well-being in age-friendly communities — places where infrastructure, policies and practices are developed to make the community livable, accessible and responsive to the needs of people of all ages, especially older adults.
Phone: (541) 678-5483