Meals on Wheels South Florida, which provides over 1 million meals to homebound seniors every year, has seen an immense increase in need of food. But with the CARES Act funding set to expire by the end of the year, they’re worried and pleading for your help.
Over the past few months, we’ve interviewed clients, seniors who are unable to leave their homes who depend on Meals on Wheels for their daily meals.
“To have somebody come into your home even if they spend just 15 minutes talking to you, but always smiling and positive, it’s worth it,” said Susan Fitzgerald, client.
“The people are very friendly, nice and helpful. They actually speak to you. It’s not like they just drop off the box and take off running. They’re here to help you,” said Jose Diaz, client.
Since the start of the pandemic in March, Meals on Wheels South Florida has seen a 300% increase in demand. Funds from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which was launched by the federal government, helped provide almost 100,000 meals to seniors. But with the CARES Act set to expire, funds are running out.
“There’s going to be a huge decrease in the amount of food available, not just through us with our 500 clients that we’re serving through the CARES Act, but the CARES Act funds are also being used by other non profits and all these big food distributions. So there will be thousands of people going without food,” said Mark Adler, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels South Florida.
The CARES Act provided over 2 trillion dollars in economic relief during the pandemic. To continue to feed those in need, Meals on Wheels South Florida is asking for the community’s help. Whether it’s volunteering or donating, every dollar counts.
“We’re working diligently to try and make sure we can feed the folks that really need the meals. We do have funding through the Older American Acts and we will be able to serve an increase number of folks under that program, but we will not be able to serve everybody that we’re currently serving,” said Mark.
Right now, Meals on Wheels South Florida is depending on donations and volunteers to stay afloat. If you’d like to support the nonprofits mission, click here.