March For Meals: Local Meals on Wheels organization draws attention to senior hunger
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - During the month of March, “Meals on Wheels of America” holds their annual “March for Meals” campaign.
The goal is to generate awareness about senior hunger.
Wesley Community Services is participating in that campaign.
Wesley Community Services is a local arm of Meals on Wheels.
In 2016, drivers delivered more than 585,000 meals to seniors in need.
In March, local community leaders help make deliveries so they get a first-hand look at the program.
For some of the seniors served by Wesley Community Services, meal drop off is the only time they get any human interaction.
"We ‘jaw-jab’ a little bit for a minute and then she'll tell you, I’ve got to go, and I’ll say okay, see you next week." said Otis Miller, a Wesley Community Services client.
Otis is partially disabled. He lives alone in a house in Roselawn.
Every week Otis looks forward to seeing his friend, Meals on Wheels driver Jasmine Conner.
"I love coming out and delivering the meals, seeing different people, seeing the smile on their face. I'm always willing to sit a few minutes and just have a conversation,” said Jasmine.
Miller needs the meals. It's tough for him to get to the store. The 65-year-old calls the service a blessing and considers his relationship with Conner a treasured friendship.
"I tell them about my kids, we talk about our families and I even have a client who is deaf/mute and she’s teaching me sign language,” said Jasmine.
Wesley is one of the only local services that makes its food in house.
Meals are prepared in a kitchen at their building on Radcliff Drive. 2,500 meals are made every day.
"We pride ourselves on having tasty meals. They are dietetically correct. We do provide therapeutic meals that could be for cardiac or for renal. We also prepare mechanically soft meals for those who may need it,” said Ericka Dansby, the Executive Director of Wesley Community Services.
Wesley started delivering meals in 1992. Otis is a three-year client.
"It's brought to my house. That's a blessing right there. So, thank you, young lady. Thank you,” said Otis.
The folks at Wesley say some of their seniors were sharing what little food they had with their pets.
They recognize the benefits of animals, so they've added a pet care program for eligible clients.
Wesley's service continues to grow.
It serves Hamilton, Butler, and Montgomery counties as well as eight counties in northern Kentucky.