Hosting the new program, Good Food, Good Deeds, on RLTV I was shocked to find out that over 6 million seniors in this country face hunger and malnutrition every day. That couldn’t be right, I thought. How can people go hungry right in our own communities? That’s what you see in other places—not here, not so close to home. But it does happen.
Here are some other things you may not know:
50 percent of the health problems that really hit seniors hard are because of the fact that they’re not getting the nutrition they need Senior hunger and senior malnutrition affects ALL senior groups, regardless of race, region, or how much money you have in the bank. Some seniors have to choose between paying for medication or buying food. The cost of ONE day in the hospital for a senior whose health has suffered from not eating properly is roughly the same as a YEAR’S worth of balanced, satisfying meals that would keep that same senior healthy and nourished—and out of the hospital.
Things are only going to get worse if we don’t do something about this NOW! Someone turns 60 every 7 seconds in America, and seniors 85 and over are the fastest growing age bracket in the country.
The sad thing about this is that it doesn’t have to be the reality. There’s a simple solution, and one organization is dedicated making it happen. The Meals On Wheels Association of America—covering all fifty states—is the oldest and largest organization of its kind, bringing over a million fresh, delicious meals every single day directly to the homes of those who need it, to people who would otherwise go hungry. But the nourishment they offer goes way, way beyond just nutritious food. Proper, and regular, nutrition is absolutely necessary to keep the body healthy, sure, but there’s another aspect to health that is just as important. Meals On Wheels knows this, and their mission is take care of the social and emotional needs as well as the physical. Meals On Wheels is an important social connection—in some cases, the only one available—and they make it their responsibility that seniors are kept safe, cared for, and connected. As Enid Borden, the president and CEO of MOWAA, says, it’s a helping hand not a hand-out.
Their goal is to eliminate senior hunger by 2020. But they need our help. Please, take the time to volunteer, donate, or even just find out for yourself the impact that this incredibly important organization is having in your state by going to www.mowaa.org. And spread the word. Only through awareness can we begin to tackle this crisis.