It’s hard to believe in this country of plenty, but millions of America’s elderly go hungry every day. In fact, nearly 9.5 million seniors are food-insecure.
That number is only going to get bigger, as the population continues to age. The number of Americans over the age of 60 is predicted to more than double by 2060 to 118 million.
Food delivery for seniors fulfills a critical need. We’ll take a closer look at senior meal delivery and why it’s so important.
Meals on Wheels for Senior Meal Delivery
Meals on Wheels America has been around since 1954 when the very first meal was delivered in Philadelphia. Today, the program delivers 220 million meals to 2.4 million seniors every year.
For many seniors, having a home food delivery service can mean the difference between living at home or living in a care facility. Nine out of 10 recipients of Meals on Wheels say it has helped them stay in their homes.
Meeting Nutritional Needs
Seniors living alone often have difficulty getting to the grocery store to buy healthy food. And even if they have meals to prepare, many of them simply aren’t well enough to manage it.
Can you imagine someone with crippling arthritis struggling with a can opener or trying to unscrew the lid on a jar of pasta sauce? Too many seniors give up and go without a meal.
Food delivery services ensure that seniors have at least one nutritional meal a day. The food is guaranteed to provide nutrients like protein, calcium, fiber, and vitamins.
Volunteers are trained not only in meeting the needs of seniors but also in food safety transportation. They have to make sure the meal deliveries meet safety standards.
Meeting Social Needs
Millions of elderly people live alone and say the person who delivers their meal is often the only person they see that day. So these home deliveries provide a little social interaction for lonely seniors.
Delivering food to senior citizens is also a chance for the volunteer to check in on the recipient. Just as schools provide the opportunity for teachers to see how their students are doing, food deliveries ensure that someone outside their immediate family circle sees the senior at least once a day.
These checkpoints provide a safety net of sorts. In the event the senior has taken a fall or become seriously ill, the volunteer can call for help.
Meeting Financial Needs
More than eight million people receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and about 27 percent of them are over the age of 65.
They receive a maximum of $733 a month, and it’s often their only source of income. After housing costs and medications, very little is left for food. Senior meal delivery is essential in these situations, providing nutritious food at no charge.
Programs like these are usually funded through federal grants and donations. You can find your local provider here.
Senior Meal Delivery: A Chance to Connect
Some seniors are able to leave their homes to get together with others at community centers and other gathering spots. But for others leaving the house on a daily basis is simply not possible. Home meal delivery allows seniors to enjoy a hot meal and comforting conversation with someone who cares.
Need high-quality delivery vehicles for your local meals on wheels service? Contact us for a free quote today.