The Page Community Center kicked off its annual “March for Meals” fundraiser March 1 at Page City Hall.
This national campaign promotes Meals on Wheels programs during the month “so no senior goes hungry.” The program delivers hot meals to homebound seniors who are otherwise unable to purchase nutritional meals.
“Senior hunger is a serious problem in the United States as many of our seniors are on fixed and limited incomes,” Teresa Hormel, event coordinator, said in a news release. “They are unable to purchase food that is necessary to meet their nutritional needs, so they cannot maintain their health.”
According to a national study conducted in 2008 by the Meals on Wheels Association of America more than five million, or 11.4 percent of all seniors, are at risk of going hungry.
This group is also more likely have less intake of major vitamins, poor health and limitations on their daily activities. The study reported that seniors aged 60-64 with incomes that at or below the federal poverty line are most likely to be at risk.
This research indicated that in 2025 about one million senior Americans would be suffering from hunger.
Applicants need to demonstrate need in order to qualify for the Meals on Wheels program. Page’s program, which is partially dependent on volunteers, serves about 30 people.
“We have been successful here with the program here in Page,” Hormel said. “Last year was fantastic. Our goal for last year was $4,000 and we did exceed that.”
Hormel said community members and local businesses have been extremely supportive of the fundraiser in the past.
“That’s the nice thing about being in a small community,” Hormel said. “Not everybody can help in a monetary way, but we can usually find people to help out in some manner.”
The meal program receives funding from participating adults and seniors, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, the City of Page, Coconino County, Northern Arizona Council of Governments and donations from the community.
“We have to supplement that funding, that’s why this fundraiser’s so important,” Hormel said. “They’re not able to provide us with all the money to pay for all the food that is needed throughout the year, so we have a fundraiser to try to make up the difference.”
The Page Community Center has donation forms available at the front desk. Call 928-645-2600 for more information.
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