Commentary: Homage counting on community support to help keep area seniors fed

A Meals on Wheels volunteer

Consider them Santa’s elves and angels among us; dozens of Meals on Wheels volunteers converged this month at Lynnwood-based Homage, the largest provider of services for older adults and people with disabilities in Snohomish County, to ensure one thousand local seniors have a week’s worth of shelf-stable food packages in their pantries.

Each week, nutritious frozen meals ready to heat and serve are delivered by our Meals on Wheels drivers and volunteers to homebound older adults and people with disabilities.

If the weather prevents a driver from making a weekly meal delivery, that Meals on Wheels participant may go without food for an entire week. If a storm causes a power outage, our clients cannot heat their food or keep it adequately refrigerated. To ensure participants stay nourished and safe during an emergency, we make it a priority to deliver a week’s worth of shelf-stable food packages.

“The peace of mind the emergency meals bring me is invaluable,” said a Homage client from Everett. “There are two things each year that I especially appreciate: the Thanksgiving meal and these emergency packs. My gratitude knows no bounds as I don’t know where I’d be without this service.”

Emergency meal packs

Eight hundred packages are being delivered throughout the community in December to Homage’s Meals on Wheels participants. Two hundred additional packages will be available to address the needs of Homage clients facing hardships, such as homelessness.

This season’s deliveries of one thousand boxes cost Homage $30,912.00 ($30.91 per box).

Items in each Emergency Meal Pack include:
7 Miss Olive’s Ready Meals
2 Fruit cups
2 pudding cups
3 8oz juices
4 milk
4 water
4 packets of Emergen-C
2 high-protein granola bars
2 packages of crackers

In order to continue serving seniors in need, Homage calls on the community to help feed our neighbors.

“The demand for Meals on Wheels increases each year, and the pandemic cast a bright light on the severity of the issue,” said Keith Bell, CEO of Homage. “Funding for the emergency packs is provided through grants and private donations. However, with recent funding cuts, we have had to rely even more on private support and donations from our generous community to keep our seniors fed and cared for.”

To Donate

To help feed seniors in Snohomish County, the community and area businesses can donate here.

–By Leah Hammon, Director of Nutrition and Center for Healthy Living
Homage Senior Services

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