HONORING A MEALS ON WHEELS LEADER COMMITTED TO COMBATTING SENIOR ISOLATION AND HUNGER WITH COMPASSION, LOVE AND RESPECT
August 28, 2019 – Meals on Wheels America today announced Wilda Belisle, Nutrition Director for Osceola Council on Aging in Kissimmee, FL, as the recipient of the second annual Sister Alice Marie Quinn Award. New in 2018, the Sister Alice Marie Quinn Award was established to celebrate the life and contributions of one of the Meals on Wheels network’s most respected and influential leaders of all time. A registered dietitian, Sister Alice Marie – affectionately known as SAM – founded St. Vincent Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles, CA, in 1977, and through her leadership and spirit, left an indelible mark on the national Meals on Wheels community.
With Sister Alice Marie’s legacy in mind, this award honors a current leader in the Meals on Wheels network who embodies her compassion, dedication and contribution, and who works to unite and advance the nationwide Meals on Wheels movement. Meals on Wheels America Members were invited to submit nominations in June of 2019. A review committee narrowed the field of nominees before the Meals on Wheels America Board of Directors voted on the final selection.
“Wilda has committed herself to serving the most vulnerable seniors of Osceola County with her whole heart, just as Sister Alice Marie Quinn did for the seniors of Los Angeles,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “We are thrilled to be able to honor Wilda for her visionary leadership and effectiveness, and her incredible contributions to the Meals on Wheels movement. She is truly the embodiment of the spirit that this award represents.”
“This is such a great honor for me because I have worked with our community in Osceola County for over 25 years and I love working with our seniors in providing them not just a good meal, but companionship too,” said Belisle. “We have such a great team and family at the Osceola Council on Aging, and I am so grateful for the hard work, dedication and compassion our team provides our seniors. To win this award means the world to me because I admire what Sister Alice Marie Quinn has done for Meals on Wheels.”
The 2019 Sister Alice Marie Quinn Award was presented during the Meals on Wheels Annual Conference and Expo on Tuesday, August 27, in Dallas, TX, in front of leaders and staff of nearly 350 local Meals on Wheels programs from across the country.
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ABOUT WILDA BELISLE, NUTRITION DIRECTOR, OSCEOLA COUNCIL ON AGING
Wilda has dedicated herself to combating hunger and isolation on behalf of the seniors in her community for more than 25 years. Along that journey, she has taken on almost every imaginable role with the Osceola Council on Aging with the goal of finding new ways to engage her community to help more seniors. Wilda has, for the last sixteen years, steered the Osceola Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program — with determination and grit — into a successful, nationally-recognized program. And through her compassionate vision, every one of the Council’s nutrition clients is seen as part of a family. In 2007, Wilda was selected by Meals on Wheels America as a Nutrition Leadership Fellow. She went on to lead a March for Meals Campaign that was recognized by Meals on Wheels America in 2014 as an outstanding campaign and was a vocal and active advocate calling for increased federal funding during the 2017 #SaveLunch Campaign. Wilda’s heart extends beyond the Meals on Wheels community, as she is passionately involved with organizations that include Leadership Osceola and the Rotary Club of West Kissimmee, where she currently serves as Membership Chair.
ABOUT SISTER ALICE MARIE QUINN, FOUNDER OF ST. VINCENT MEALS ON WHEELS
Sister Alice Marie Quinn, D.C., the Founder and Executive Director of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles, CA and a former Meals on Wheels America Board Chair, passed away in June of 2017. Today, the program has grown to a staff of 74, boasts a network of more than 300 volunteers, and produces upwards of 3,000 meals daily serving over 1,900 of LA’s most vulnerable older adults, and providing meals to a number of other local Meals on Wheels programs. Sister Alice Marie’s groundbreaking work in the field of senior nutrition and combatting hunger has not gone unnoticed; among the accolades both she and St. Vincent Meals on Wheels have garnered are Recipient of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) Silver Plate Award in 2006, for outstanding achievement in Specialty Food Services; being named “Woman of the Year” in 1988 by the State of California; and in 2013, the Los Angeles City Council declared the day before Thanksgiving as St. Vincent Meals on Wheels Day in LA.
ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA
Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves 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.
Meals on Wheels America
Osceola Council on Aging