SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — A nonprofit feeding homebound seniors is struggling during the pandemic. Meals on Wheels is a lifeline for homebound seniors.
The Area Agency on Aging Region X delivers meals in four counties. They are in need of donations after seeing a drop in funding.
“Meals on Wheels is extremely important because sometimes that’s the only meal that senior gets for the day,” said Charlotte Foust, Resource Development Specialist.
The Area Agency on Aging Region X delivers 5000 meals a week to homebound seniors. Right now the organization is hurting because of a drop in funding from the state.
“The state of Missouri being a balanced budget state has actually withheld funding of our fiscal year budget and we are in sore need to continue these services. We appreciate any and all donations and they are tax deductible,” said Jennifer Shotwell, Chief Executive Officer of Area Agency on Aging Region X.
Because of the pandemic they are now delivering five to seven frozen meals to seniors once a week.
they are also seeing a drop in volunteers.
“We are missing a lot of our beloved volunteers and are delivering a lot of meals with paid staff. This is due to Covid also. Most of our volunteers are seniors themselves so of course we want them to be safe as well as the client they’re delivering meals to,” said Shotwell.
She says Meals on Wheels deliveries help homebound seniors be more independent.
“Our primary goal is to keep people living at home as long as possible. Just because you have lost the inability to drive doesn’t mean you lost the ability to take care of yourself and live at home,” said Shotwell.
The Area Agency on Aging also answers questions and directs seniors to important resources.
“We’re able to point people in the direction. We can answer their questions about getting on Medicare, we can answer their question in a limited fashion on Medicaid if they’re needing that,” said Foust.
To keep seniors safe, they’re checking temperatures of volunteers and having them wear masks and gloves during deliveries.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, call your local senior center.
To see a full list of the resources the Area Agency on Aging provides, visit their website.