Eau Claire organization needs community support for March for Meals campaign

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 3:53 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Eleven percent of Wisconsin seniors struggle with hunger, according to the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). For this reason, Meals on Wheels in Eau Claire is participating in the national March for Meals campaign.

March for Meals is a month long fundraiser working to create awareness and increase community support for the Meals on Wheels program. Business leaders and community partners can help by sponsoring a route or volunteering as a driver.

There are currently 29 volunteer driver routes in Eau Claire County. In 2022, Meals on Wheels served over 101,000 meals to local homebound seniors. The program is quickly growing, as they served around 90,000 meals in 2021.

ADRC manager, Betsy Henck, said while Meals on Wheels is a federally funded program they’re still in need of help from the community.

“We rely heavily on the contributions of the participants receiving the meals. Many of them are on fixed incomes. There’s been a lot of rising costs of food and other services that the seniors are already having to kind of stretch their dollar, so sometimes contributing to our program is the last on their mind because they just don’t have the ability to do so. And so having the generosity of the community members and businesses can help us continue to provide the services as well as expand. We have seen a large increase in amount of meals in the last few years, and so we want to be able to grow with the community and still be able to provide the service to everyone that needs it,” Henck said.

She emphasized how important the program is for homebound seniors.

“It’s providing the ability for them to stay in their home, be more independent, and be able to age in place. Meals on Wheels is really important for them to be able to continue to get nutritious meals, a wellness check, and really just give people a sense of security that somebody is going to be checking on them,” Henck said.

Anyone 60 years and older is eligible for the program. There are no limitations based on income.

To find out more information about how to volunteer or sponsor a route, call the ADRC at 715-839-4735.