Meals on Wheels America has awarded a $2,335 grant to Senior Resources to support the agency’s Pet Pals program. The grant will buy dog, cat and bird food for the pets of Meals on Wheels clients. The program currently serves 100 pets belonging to 68 Meals on Wheels clients. The Meals on Wheels America grant will provide about 1,500 pounds of pet food for these clients.
Pet Pals was started by Senior Resources in 2006, when some Meals on Wheels volunteers noticed previous days’ food trays left on the floor or at the back door of their clients’ homes.
“These clients were unable to purchase food for their pets due to financial or transportation obstacles. Rather than letting their beloved pets go hungry, they were sharing their delivered meals with their pets,” said Senior Resources Executive Director Pam Dukes. “When we heard these reports, we established our Pet Pals program to provide pet food to these clients so that they would not have to sacrifice their own meals.”
In total, Meals on Wheels America has granted over $200,000 to nearly 100 local Meals on Wheels programs through the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative this year. Funding is made possible in part through a donation from the former Banfield Charitable Trust. To date, the grant program has distributed more than $2.4 million in funding and pet food donations.
“While pets are invaluable companions to homebound seniors, positively impacting their health and well-being, they can also be a challenge to care for alone,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “The Meals on Wheels Loves Pets program enables Senior Resources to provide pet food and other necessary services to ease some of that burden and make it possible for local seniors and their beloved pets to stay together.”
About Senior Resources, Inc.
Senior Resources is a non-profit organization that coordinates services, provides resources and encourages the personal choices that allow Columbia's senior citizens to remain independent. All activities, services and programs of the agency are geared toward promoting independent living, with the goal of helping seniors remain in their homes as long as possible through the support of staff and volunteers, and delaying or preventing institutionalization.
Since 1967, Senior Resources has served Columbia's frail and elderly residents in three areas:
1) In-home services, including Meals on Wheels, home care, respite care, senior companion services, and case management;
2) Community-based services, including congregate meals, wellness centers, transportation, and physical fitness;
3) Volunteer services, including the Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs.
With local, state and federal government funding, as well as contributions from United Way, personal donations and fundraising activities, Senior Resources offers a variety of programs so that our clients can select the assistance they need to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle.
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.