More Than 200 of Wake County’s Seniors Must Wait to Receive Meals on Wheels

December 2015

Meals on Wheels of Wake County joins national #SeniorsCantWait effort to shine a light on growing demand

Meals on Wheels of Wake County has joined Meals on Wheels America’s #SeniorsCantWait campaign to raise awareness for the 213 seniors who are waiting to receive home-delivered meals in Wake County.

“On November 17, three more people – all over the age of 75 – requested to get help from Meals on Wheels. We know that our service will help them eat better and live at home longer.  We have everything we need to serve them except the funding to buy meals. Our board and staff will work diligently to expand our program to include these three seniors plus the other 213 people on the waiting list,” Executive Director Alan Winstead said.

The #SeniorsCantWait campaign is an initiative led by Meals on Wheels America to help shine a light on the growing number of senior Americans who are waiting to receive nutritious meals. If unaddressed, the nationwide waiting list crisis will have devastating consequences, not only for our most vulnerable seniors and their quality of life but for our country as a whole through increased healthcare costs. Meals on Wheels programs deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks for an entire year for less than the cost, on average, of one day in a hospital or one week in a nursing home.

“The reality is 1 in 6 seniors might not know where their next meal is coming from,” said Erika Kelly, Chief Advocacy and Government Affairs Officer at Meals on Wheels America. “Declining federal funding through the Older Americans Act, cuts in state and local grants, stagnant private funding and rising food, transportation and operational costs all have led to a growing gap between those served and those in need. With the senior population set to double by 2050, the time to act is now.”

Decisions around federal funding levels for this fiscal year have yet to be determined, even though President Obama recently signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which resolved disputes about overarching federal spending levels and set the budget framework for the next two years. Congress had until December 11 to reach an agreement and invest further in programs like Meals on Wheels.

To learn how you can help Meals on Wheels of Wake County remove seniors from its waiting list, visit www.wakemow.org or call 919-833-1749.