Today, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne, along with Berks County community leaders, participated in the Berks Encore Meals on Wheels Celebrity Volunteer-for-a-Day event in Reading in recognition of March for Meals month.
âThe Wolf Administration is grateful for the efforts put forth every day by Meals on Wheels programs and volunteers across the commonwealth,â said Secretary Osborne. âLocal meal programs, like Berks Encore, are key to the commitment we share to ensure that older Pennsylvanians live and age well in their homes and communities.â
According to Meals on Wheels America, March 2017 marks the 15th annual âMarch for Mealsâ campaign â a month-long celebration to rally communities across the country around our vulnerable seniors. March for Meals was created to commemorate the month in 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act and established a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. Since 2002, the March for Meals has grown into a full-scale awareness, fundraising and volunteer recruitment campaign involving and supporting the network of local Meals on Wheels programs.
Congregate and home-delivered meals represent a large and important segment of the nutrition services provided by the aging services network, as one of the few resources available in combating senior hunger in Pennsylvania. With over 3.9 million Baby Boomers projected to become eligible for aging services in Pennsylvania by 2020, the department anticipates the demand for congregate and home-delivered meal services to rise concurrently and become that much more important to ensuring that the nutritional and health needs of seniors are adequately met while helping them to age in place in their homes and communities.