Pop the Cause to support Meals on Wheels

Mar 17, 2014

MCH Meals on Wheels is one of four organizations selected to receive donations from Pop the Cause, the major charity event sponsored by Cellardoor Winery and Megunticook Market.

Three of these organizations will receive gifts of $20,000 and one will receive $100,000. The winner of the $100,000 prize will be the organization that receives the most votes. Please vote to support MCH Meals on Wheels by going to popforchange.com.

MCH Meals on Wheels is a critical link in the safety net that helps aging Knox County residents to remain safe and healthy in their own homes. But the program needs significant financial help to meet the rapidly growing needs of this population.

Over the past three years the number of meals delivered by MCH Meals on Wheels in Knox County has grown by 26 percent. Over this same period of time federal funds for the program have declined. Meal recipients pay what they can afford, but there is a large funding gap that needs to be filled every year. Meanwhile, Lois Stackpole Alley, director of the program, and her staff cook over 160 meals a day in a 15 by 30 foot kitchen at the Methodist Conference Home in Rockland which needs to be expanded in the future to meet the increased need.

$100,000 would help MCH Meals on Wheels build capacity to meet a need that will only continue to grow as the population in the region becomes older and more in need of this program. The median age in Knox County in 2000 was 41, in 2010 it had risen to 46. In 2000, 17.2 percent of Knox County’s population was over 65; by 2010 that number was 20.8 percent.

As the average age of Knox County residents continues to rise, so does the number of seniors struggling to remain safe and healthy in their own homes. Some of these individuals have their own support systems, family and friends who make sure they remain safe and healthy and have all that they need. But a growing number of older adults in Knox County find themselves, at this vulnerable point in their lives, alone and isolated.

More and more older adults in Knox County are turning to MCH Meals on Wheels as an essential part of the safety net that provides support in their quest to remain independent for as long as possible. MCH started providing meals for homebound seniors more than 40 years ago. Today the program delivers more than 120 hot, nutritious meals each day, Monday through Friday along with frozen meals for those who need them for the weekend.

The meals are delivered by committed volunteers who take a little time to visit, breaking that sense of isolation and loneliness. “Our Meals on Wheels participants look forward to seeing the volunteers as much as they do the meals”, said Stackpole Alley in a news release.

MCH Executive Director Lee Karker said that if MCH Meals on Wheels wins the top gift from Pop the Cause, the organization will be able to build capacity and better meet the needs of our aging neighbors.

 

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