Nearly one in six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger or malnourishment. In South Florida, thousands are struggling to get the help they need, especially now. But with the help of nonprofits like Meals on Wheels, hundreds of seniors are getting the food they need.
When 68-year-old James Turnquest got the call from Meals on Wheels saying he was off the waiting list for food, he was extremely grateful.
“I felt great, feel really good about it because I needed them a lot. I needed them real bad,” said James.
According to Mark Adler, the executive director of Meals on Wheels South Florida, there’s thousands of seniors in South Florida that want one warm meal a day, but can’t have it.
There’s not enough money so they’re on a waiting list for Meals on Wheels.
“Demand for home-delivered meals, especially now, is at an all-time high. With thousands of people turning 60 years old plus and with funding being relatively flat and the demand increasing so exponentially, the waiting list isn’t ever going to go away,” said Mark.
But with the help of the Area Agency on Aging and Broward County, through the Cares Act, they were able to take 300 people off that waiting list.
“We’re helping people to stay safe and healthy and to help them so that they don’t get COVID-19 and that’s a really big deal. The food is really good and they enjoy it and it’s just nice to be able to help them,” said Charlotte Mather Taylor, Executive Director of Area Agency on Aging.
“This funding couldn’t have to come at a better time. It’s heart wrenching to heave to prioritize who’s the most in need when it comes to hunger. When you’re hungry, you’re hungry. So this funding is allowing us to serve the most at-risk, frail, needy of the seniors on our waiting list,” added Mark.
James lives alone, so getting these meals are crucial.
“I really need the meals. It helps me a lot to be able to receive these meals because I’m unable to get meals on my own,” said James.
We’re challenging our communities to step up and fight hunger among the most needy. If you’d like to contribute to Meals on Wheels South Florida, click here.