In their most recent monthly meeting, members heard about the needs of the Meals on Wheels program and addressed ways they might help support its needs.
Meals on Wheels in Spalding County is organized through Spalding County Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Three Rivers Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging. It is overseen by Senior Nutrition Coordinator Doris “DC” Carter.
Meals are prepared at the Spalding County Senior Center and are delivered, predominately by volunteers, to qualifying seniors.
Carter said there is typically a waitlist for seniors who wish to be included in the program. She said she doubts the waitlist will go away for two reasons. She said seniors learn every day that they need meal assistance and that as the program grows and more people become aware of it, more will sign up. However, she said she thinks that help from groups like the Senior Issues committee may help reduce the wait times for seniors.
She said that there are some supplies she needs for seniors in the program which are not covered by Meals on Wheels grants. One example she gave of a need that is not provided for financially, was of a senior whose microwave was not working. She said it is an important need because the delivered meals need to be cooked in a microwave.
Another need that was cited was food for pets. Mark Weaver who chairs the Senior Issue Committee, which is a program headed by Spalding Collaborative, said that during the recent poverty workshop held by the Collaborative, it was found that seniors who said they are hungry, often are because they are giving their own food to their pets.
Carter said she is passionate about incorporating the delivery of food for companion animals along with the Meals on Wheels. She said she is in talks with a local dog rescue group to try to launch such a program and plans to call it Animeals.
After Carter’s presentation, members of the Senior Issues Committee used their remaining meeting time to discuss possible fundraisers to help support the Meals on Wheels program needs outlined by Carter.
One fundraiser they hope to potentially launch is a walk-a-thon, which is an event where volunteers agree to walk for a certain distance in exchange for the sponsorship of individuals or businesses.
However, there are many details that must be resolved before any such event can take place such as date and time, how far people will walk, where it will be held and what, if any, liability issues must be addressed before such an event could go forward. Members plan to continue working toward that goal.
Volunteers are needed for Meals on Wheels.
For more information, call DC Carter at 770-467-4076 or by email at [email protected]
BY JENNIFER REYNOLDS