March For Meals Focuses On Homebound
FARMINGTON — Each year, senior centers in Washington County take the month of March to bring awareness to senior hunger and point to the importance of delivering hot, nutritious meals to homebound senior adults.
March for Meals is used to help raise money for Meals on Wheels, a year-round program for senior adults who are not able to prepare meals for themselves.
In December, Meals on Wheels program delivered more than 9,500 meals to the homebound through senior adult centers in Washington County (except Springdale).
Tina Batlle, director of Farmington Senior Activity & Wellness Center, said it is eye-opening to her how many meals are delivered throughout the county. This number does not include anyone living in very rural areas, such as Summers and Cane Hill, because the centers do not have drivers to reach outlying communities.
For 2017, Lincoln delivered about 7,000 meals to homebound residents. Prairie Grove delivered
around 7,800 meals, and Farmington delivered 11,207 meals to homebound in Farmington, West Fork and Greenland.
Batlle said it is a constant battle to raise money for Meals on Wheels.
Joanna Stricker, Lincoln Senior Center director, said raising money for meals is hard work but fulfilling.
“It warms your heart when you find someone who needs help,” Stricker said.
Farmington, Prairie Grove and Lincoln senior centers are using two fundraisers to bring in money in March for Meals on Wheels.
Farmington and Lincoln are mailing postcards asking people to make at least a $5 donation to Meals on Wheels. A $5 donation feeds one homebound person per day.
Prairie Grove Senior Activity & Wellness Center is placing jars in the community and asking residents to put any loose change they have in the jars. The money will be used to “Make a Change for Senior Hunger.”
To be eligible for Meals on Wheels, a person has to be 60 years old or older, unable to drive and not able to make their own meals. Eligibility is not based on income.
“Home delivery is all about the homebound senior,” Batlle said.
If a married couple lives in the home, at least one has to be homebound and meet eligibility requirements. If this is the case, both people can receive meals.
Willke said a home-delivered meal is more than hot food. It provides wellness for the person. The volunteer bringing a meal has the opportunity to check on homebound seniors and senior adults are receiving nutritious food to benefit their health.
Some people who receive Meals on Wheels pay for their food. The suggested donation is $3 per meal. Others do not pay anything.
Batlle said people can donate what they can afford but the program does not ask for money.
“That’s why we do what we do,” she added.
Joe Batlle, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, delivers a hot meal to Cleta Guess, who lives at Savannah Park in Farmington. Guess has received Meals on Wheels for more than a year. Area senior centers are sponsoring “March for Meals” to bring attention...