Montpelier, VT – Meals on Wheels, a service that has been vital for homebound seniors and serves hundreds in North Central Vermont, will be turning 50 years old this month. In Montpelier, Meals on Wheels is hosting a month-long fundraiser that highlights the progress the program has made over recent years.
“We serve about 100 to 300 older adults in the Montpelier-Berlin area every month,” Sarah Lipton, Director of the Montpelier Senior Activity Center said.
Lipton said they are delivering daily meals Monday through Thursday, enough to get people through the whole week. Now she wants to raise awareness about it’s deep impact in the community.
“We are offering that ease to social isolation when we go out with our daily hot meal delivery,” Lipton said. “We are offering that wellness check for someone who might be very homebound and doesn’t have anyone else coming to visit them.”
Lipton adds it’s much more than a meal, it’s also being there for people.
“In order to thrive, not just survive, to thrive as we age at home, we need engagement,” Lipton said. “We need people to be checking on us, we need as a person alone, we need to know that someone cares about us, that someone is going to bring us a meal if we need a meal.”
The Vermont Foodbank looked up to Meals on Wheels during the pandemic.
“Some of our community partners and mutual aid groups were trying to replicate Meals on Wheels for those other groups of people who were experiencing food insecurity because it is such an incredible resource for seniors in Vermont,” Carrie Stahler, Government and Public Affairs Officer for Vermont Food Bank said.
Nearly a third of people in Vermont experience food insecurity and it’s not just seniors in need.
“Children, women, black indigenous and people of color and respondents without a college degree are real people who are seeing food insecurity more strongly than other folks in the state,” Stahler said.