Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area will be able to continue to serve its growing senior population after receiving a $2,000 grant from Subaru of America and Meals on Wheels Association of America.
Jamestown Meals on Wheels and Shults Subaru in Jamestown worked together in December and January to highlight the importance of working to end senior hunger and at the same time promote voluntarism. For nearly six weeks, Shults Subaru and Jamestown Meals on Wheels encouraged people from the community to test drive a new Subaru and learn about fighting hunger in Chautauqua County and beyond.
"This funding will help make sure that we continue to feed senior citizens in our community who need meal delivery," said Barrie Yochim, Meals on Wheels executive director. "There are meal programs in New York state which have waiting lists for services, but we are not one of those programs."
Yochim said that Jamestown Meals on Wheels is serving the most meals it has served in nearly five years.
"Funding like this from Subaru will keep us serving the people we serve, and any seniors who come new to the program," he said.
This local Subaru-Meals on Wheels effort mirrored the Meals on Wheels Association of America's participation in the national Subaru of America Inc. "Share the Love" Event. Over the past four years, proceeds from the Subaru "Share the Love" Event have provided funds to the Meals on Wheels Association of America to support its vision to end senior hunger by 2020.
In the past year, Jamestown Meals on Wheels has served more than 131,000 meals - an 8.3 percent increase from the previous year, Yochim said.
Senior citizens can receive a heatable or a cold sandwich meal each day, or both, as needed from Jamestown Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels also provides frozen meals to be used on weekends, in some cases. The suggested cost for home delivery of one heatable meal and one cold meal is $8 per day. For either a heatable or cold meal, the suggested cost is $4.50 per day.
Meals on Wheels can keep its delivery costs low because it utilizes many volunteers who help deliver meals each day. Volunteer delivery routes, called satellite routes, are delivered in Jamestown, Lakewood, Falconer, Celoron and Fluvanna each day. Volunteers deliver nearly 100 meals each day for Meals on Wheels. Some Meals on Wheels volunteers are from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
Some of these volunteer routes are available now for new volunteers, Yochim said. The routes are designed to allow a volunteer to deliver meals in a designed area within 30 to 45 minutes. Most volunteers deliver one day a week, every week.
If an individual 60 years old or older can't pay for meals from Meals on Wheels, or can pay only a small amount, the individual can still get meals. The Chautauqua County Office For the Aging provides Meals on Wheels funding for meals for individuals age 60 and older, if they qualify for the program.
Meals on Wheels also receives funding from United Way of Southern Chautauqua County and other individual contributors, which helps offset the meal cost for individuals who can't pay the full amount. WCA Hospital prepares meals for Meals on Wheels recipients in southern Chautauqua County from the hospital's Jones Memorial Health Center kitchen.
Any Chautauqua County senior citizen can receive home meal delivery, if the individual qualifies. Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area delivers to the southern half of Chautauqua County.
Sinclairville 76ers provides home-delivered meals to participants in the towns of Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Gerry and Ellington, and in Cassadaga, Stockton and Lily Dale. Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals to participants along the Lake Erie lakeshore from Brocton to Silver Creek, including the towns of Hanover and Villenova, and in Forestville.
For more information about Meals on Wheels, call 488-9119.