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TOGETHER, WE MARCH FOR MEALS

Celebrating Meals on Wheels and the seniors we serve

TOGETHER, WE MARCH FOR MEALS

Celebrating Meals on Wheels and the seniors we serve

    CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT NUTRITION PROGRAM

    1972 - 2022

    This march, Meals on Wheels America and local programs from across the country are celebrating a very special March for Meals honoring the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, the federal legislation that provides funding for nutrition services for seniors and helps support programs like Meals on Wheels.

    This annual celebration comes at a time when eight out of ten local Meals on Wheels programs are still serving more home-delivered meals than they were prior to the pandemic, and operational and food costs are soaring due to inflation. The network expects the demand is here to stay as the virus’s impact on older adults goes beyond a higher risk for serious infection: it also includes limited access to care leading to a decline in overall health and wellbeing, as well as considerable social and economic hardships. All of which leaves an already vulnerable population even more in need of the safety net that Meals on Wheels delivers.
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    WHY WE CELEBRATE EACH MARCH

    Each year, the March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. This legislation supported the rapid growth of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs – commonly referred to as Meals on Wheels – that collectively served more than 223 million meals to over 2.4 million seniors prior to the pandemic.

    Throughout the month, the Meals on Wheels network is joining forces for the awareness campaign to garner the support needed to ensure these critical programs can continue to address food insecurity and malnutrition, combat social isolation, enable independence, and improve health for years to come.

    A local March for Meals campaign typically consists of:

    • Fundraising Activities – independent or in partnership with local businesses
    • Volunteer Drives – with the public and in partnership with local organizations
    • Community Outreach – communications with supporters and publicity efforts with local media

    Many programs will also invite local, state and federal officials, local celebrities and other prominent community figures to safely deliver meals, speak out for seniors and raise awareness for the power of their work during Community Champions Week March 21-25, 2022. Learn more about how you can get involved below.

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    NATIONAL CELEBRATION

    This year, we'll celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program alongside our partners at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) – as well as other national organizations – as a way to lift up the many accomplishments of the national and local programs, acknowledge innovative approaches used to support seniors, and look at how education can help communities understand and use nutrition services.

    SAVE THE DATES FOR THESE UPCOMING EVENTS

    March 22, 2022 - 
    Facebook Live Town Hall Hosted by Meals on Wheels America and the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) on Meals on Wheels America's Facebook page (More details to follow!)

    March 31, 2022, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET - 
    ACL's 50th Anniversary Special Virtual Event (More details to follow!)

     

    JOIN THE MARCH!

    CELEBRATE MARCH FOR MEALS WITH A MEALS ON WHEELS PROGRAM IN YOUR COMMUNITY

    While our 2022 March for Meals activities might not look like they always have, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the power and importance of Meals on Wheels amid this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. 

    Since these celebrations and opportunities will vary by location, it's best to reach out to your local Meals on Wheels program for details!

    FIND A LOCAL PROGRAM

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    COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS WEEK - MARCH 21-25, 2022

    During this time, local Meals on Wheels programs invite local, state and federal officials, local celebrities and other prominent community figures to safely deliver meals, speak out for seniors and raise awareness for the power of their work.
     
    COMMON ACTIVITIES AMID COVID-19

    • Delivering meals following all CDC guidelines
    • Hosting a virtual fundraising event
    • Declaring March a month to honor Meals on Wheels through a public proclamation
    • Speaking out on social media

     



     

    URGE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO FUND AND PROTECT THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT NUTRITION PROGRAM

    Fifty years ago, the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program was established, spurring the rapid growth of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs – commonly referred to as Meals on Wheels – that have delivered more than just nutritious meals to homebound seniors in virtually every community across the country for decades. Email your Members of Congress today to show your support and ensure our successfull public-private partnership is there for seniors for another 50 years and beyond!  

    EMAIL CONGRESS

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    LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WE DO AND WHO WE SERVE

    COVID-19 FACT SHEET

    COVID-19 has had a profound effect on older adults in the United States and has increased the need for services and resources for this population. Older adult-serving organizations – like Meals on Wheels – have had to shift their services and strategies to meet an increased demand for meal services, including home-delivered meals, during the pandemic in order to help older adults stay healthy and able to continue living independently in their own homes.

    Our COVID-19 Fact Sheet uses easily digestible infographics built on data gathered from local Meals on Wheels programs to help tell the story of the pandemic's impact and Meals on Wheels programs' heroic response. 
     

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    OLDER AMERICANS ACT NUTRITION PROGRAM FACT SHEET

    For decades, Older Americans Act (OAA) services, like congregate and home-delivered meals, have aimed to serve groups of older adults living in the community with the greatest social or economic need. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the OAA Nutrition Program has served as a lifeline for older adults and their families as the need and demand for services have skyrocketed.

    This Fact Sheet combines a short narrative with infographics to provide a snapshot of the most important components of the OAA Nutrition Program and details about the older adults it serves.

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    2021 U.S. FACT SHEET

    This Fact Sheet presents an overview of the most recent data available about older adults living in the United States – including demographic and healthcare utilization information – and about senior nutrition programs receiving federal funding through the Older Americans Act.