MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA AND THE AD COUNCIL LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO DRIVE VOLUNTEERS AND HELP MEALS ON WHEELS OF LEHIGH AND NORTHAMPTON COUNTIES SERVE MORE LEHIGH VALLEY SENIORS
(Allentown and Bethlehem, PA, July 12, 2016)— More than 10 million (1 in 6) seniors in the U.S. face the threat of hunger and more than 15 million (1 in 4) are living in isolation. In the Lehigh Valley alone, more than 2300 seniors are being served to address these issues. This summer, Meals on Wheels America, in partnership with the Ad Council, will launch its first-ever national campaign to recruit volunteers to serve the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. With the senior population projected to double by 2050, Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County and Meals on Wheels of Northampton Counties are joining the effort to help inspire a new army of volunteers in the Lehigh Valley to meet the growing need.
Every weekday, volunteers from the two programs deliver more than 1500 meals along with friendly visits and safety checks to those who need them most. As important as the meal delivered is the fact that, for many seniors, the volunteer who delivers it is the only person they will see that day. The delivery isn’t just about nutrition; it’s about the moments of human connection that nourish the senior and the volunteer alike. Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County and Meals on Wheels of Northampton County rely on an army of volunteers to deliver meals, typically between 11 am and 1 pm, five days a week.
The national integrated public service campaign, created pro bono by the ad agency, Anomaly, will invite America to “Do Lunch” by volunteering during the critical lunch hour period to deliver meals and a smile to seniors. The TV, radio, print, out-of-home and digital public service advertisements (PSAs) will tell the poignant stories of just a few of the 2.4 million seniors the national Meals on Wheels network serves each year, stories that celebrate their lives and show how inspiring, wise and charming they really are. To further highlight their stories, renowned celebrity photographer Mark Seliger – who has photographed some of our culture’s most famous faces from Kurt Cobain to President Obama – will be turning his lens to Meals on Wheels seniors and creating a series of portraits for the campaign.
“We’re so excited to be working with Meals on Wheels programs across the country to launch this national effort on the ground,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “We hope that by sharing just a few of our seniors’ amazing and heartfelt stories, we can inspire even more volunteers to lend a caring hand to the growing number of aging neighbors in need.”
JoAnn Nenow, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Northampton County said: “Our Meals on Wheels programs are serving more and more seniors every year and our cherished volunteers are the backbone of our mission. We hope this campaign increases the awareness of our need for volunteers to deliver meals which helps our seniors age in place in their own homes” Pam Bechtel, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, added: “We’re thrilled to be a part of this national campaign because it will help us recruit more volunteers who give our program its heart. Our volunteer force needs to grow so we can serve the growing number of people who need our service. Clients and volunteers develop special relationships, which is why being a Meals on Wheels volunteer is so rewarding.”
Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, a nonprofit agency, serves 450 Lehigh County homebound seniors and adults each weekday. Volunteers deliver meals and provide a social connection and a well-being check. The Agency also offers grocery shopping services to more than 130 clients. For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelslc.org
Meals on Wheels of Northampton County is a private, non-profit entity serving individuals in Northampton County since 1972. Our mission is “To promote healthy living through the delivery of nutrition services” to homebound seniors and disabled individuals, individuals recuperating from medical procedures, adult and child day care centers, and senior centers. www.mealsonwheelspa.org
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in 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 visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
Information provided by:
Michele Grasso, MPA
Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County
4234 Dorney Park Rd.
Allentown, PA 18104