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Jun 03, 2016

Meals on Wheels Loves Pets Initiative Designed to Help Local Programs Deliver so Much More Than Just a Meal

Arlington, VA, June 3, 2016 – Meals on Wheels America announced today that it has distributed $300,000 in grant funding to support 162 local Meals on Wheels programs in their efforts to provide pet food, supplies and care for clients – all of which can be financially and physically burdensome. Pet support is becoming an increasing popular Meals on Wheels offering across the country as the positive effects on overall health and wellbeing are clear: research shows that seniors with pets are 36% less likely to report loneliness and have 21% fewer doctor visits.*

“The Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative is just another way that Meals on Wheels can deliver so much more than just a meal,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “Through grant funding, educational opportunities and in-kind donations for our member programs, we hope to grow current pet programs and help those looking to start new ones.”

Meals on Wheels Loves Pets funding is made possible in part through a donation from Banfield Charitable Trust (BCT), who in October of 2015, handed over all funding and grants administration responsibilities for their popular Pet Assistance Grant Program to Meals on Wheels America. To date, the grant program has distributed more than $2.1 million in funding and pet food donations to over 300 local Meals on Wheels programs across the nation.

Learn more at

About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America's seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit

*Sources: Stanley, I. H., Conwell, Y., Bowen, C., & Van Orden, K. A. (2014). Pet Ownership may Attenuate Loneliness Among Older Adult Primary Care Patients Who Live Alone. Aging & Mental Health, 18(3), 394–399.; Siegel, J.M. (1990). Stressful life events and use of physician services among the elderly: The moderating role of pet ownership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 1081-1086.