On Good Food, Good Deeds, some of America’s best-loved celebrities have generously volunteered their time and experienced first-hand the work that Meals On Wheels does. The marvellous Bob Eubanks recently spent some time down at a Meals On Wheels program here in Los Angeles—one that is near and dear to my heart, St. Vincent’s. I also had the opportunity of working there with Sister Alice, a woman whose energy is only equalled by her compassion. She created the program years ago, and both Bob and I were astonished at how smoothly an organization this complex can run! As Sister Alice told Bob, she is guided by the words of St. Vincent himself: ask the poor what they want, don’t give the poor what you want. So at St. Vincent’s, it isn’t just thousands and thousands of meals everyday, it’s thousands and thousands of personalized meals everyday. Sister Alice and her incredible team ensure that not only dietary restrictions are adhered to, but also religious and personal preferences as well. It is food that is truly made with love, and that is truly awe-inspiring.
And though they do a phenomenal job—not only at St. Vincent’s but also at programs all across the country; the Meals On Wheels Association of America is the largest volunteer “army” in America—it’s still not enough. Even with a million volunteers serving a million meals a day, Meals On Wheels estimates that 2.2 million more meals are needed each day to alleviate senior hunger, and in some places there’s a waiting list to get into programs.
They need your help. This is a crisis affecting all of us. It’s heartbreaking to think that our parents, our grandparents, or our neighbors are going to bed hungry. And the problem is only going to get worse. Studies have shown that if we don’t act now, by the year 2025 an unprecedented 11% of the population will experience hunger and malnutrition. And the greatest impact will be on the most vulnerable members of our society, the seniors.
We need to look out for each other. For more information on how you can help the Meals On Wheels Association of America eradicate senior hunger by 2020, please visit, www.mowaa.org.