RECOGNIZING A MEALS ON WHEELS LEADER COMMITTED TO COMBATTING SENIOR ISOLATION AND HUNGER
Arlington, VA – August 17, 2022 – Meals on Wheels America yesterday announced George Hawthorne, Director of Nutrition and Transportation of REAL Services, Inc. in South Bend, IN, as the recipient of the fifth annual Sister Alice Marie Quinn Award. This 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 dietician, 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.
Each year, this award honors a current leader of a local Meals on Wheels program who embodies Sister Alice Marie’s legacy through compassion, dedication and contribution, and who works to unite and advance the nationwide Meals on Wheels movement. A field of many worthy nominees was narrowed before the Meals on Wheels America Board of Directors voted on the final selection. They sought to honor a leader who has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership – someone who has been able to provide direction in the face of incredible challenges and bring together staff, volunteers, donors and supporters to provide critical nourishment, social connection and peace of mind to seniors in their community.
“During his 30 years at REAL Services, George has touched tens of thousands of lives, millions of meals, pioneered the development of social enterprises, and continues to do whatever it takes to ensure that all those in need are reached,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “His unwavering commitment that so well reflects Sister Alice Marie Quinn’s spirit was even more apparent amid the pandemic as he ensured an additional 1,000 seniors received meals, groceries and a friendly voice to help calm their fears.”
"I am honored to receive the Sister Alice Marie Award. However, this is not mine alone. The award is for all of the people who work to provide thousands of meals across our region. The staff and volunteers are who make things happen. I am simply here to support and help guide the work they do," said Hawthorne.
The 2022 Sister Alice Marie Quinn Award was presented during Meals on Wheels America’s Annual Conference on Tuesday, August 16. This year’s convening brought together more than 415 senior nutrition leaders in Baltimore and another 200 virtually.
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ABOUT GEORGE HAWTHORNE, DIRECTOR OF NUTRITION AND TRANSPORTATION, REAL SERVICES, INC.
In 1992, an innovative and visionary leader, George Hawthorne, joined REAL Services and currently serves as the Regional Director of Nutrition and Transportation. George has continually adapted and pioneered innovative social enterprise efforts to address REAL Services' funding needs: Simply Catering for private contracts, and one of the most unique efforts, The Real Grille food truck. He also modernized the food service preparation in the design of the state-of-the-art kitchen that enhances the capacity for meal preparation and includes a welcoming gathering place for volunteers. George spearheaded the Kitchen for Independent Living, which serves as a model of efficiency and production capacity for other programs. George was steadfast during the pandemic, never wavering in his commitment to ensure seniors had meals, groceries and a friendly voice to help calm their fears. Because of George, 1,000 additional seniors received meals. George is a key member of the county's response to improve food security and a nationally recognized leader who is our go-to person to advocate with legislators and elected officials.
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 serve LA’s most vulnerable older adults and provide meals to a number of other local Meals on Wheels programs. Sister Alice Marie’s groundbreaking work in the field of senior nutrition and hunger has not gone unnoticed; among the accolades both she and St. Vincent Meals on Wheels have garnered include being a 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, having the Los Angeles City Council declare the day before Thanksgiving as St. Vincent Meals on Wheels Day in LA.
ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA
Meals on Wheels America is the national 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.