Stuff the Trunk
Pull over for Meals on Wheels
What: Stuff the Trunk for Meals on Wheels
When: 10 am Sat., Nov. 16
Where: Barkley, Ferndale, Fairhaven, Meridian, and Sehome Haggen stores
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
While many people are already compiling extensive lists of menu items they intend to serve for friends and family during Thanksgiving dinner, a number of homebound seniors in Whatcom County are wondering what will be in their larders when winter weather arrives.
Thanks to a “Stuff the Trunk for Meals on Wheels” event taking place from 10am-2pm Sat., Nov. 16 at the Barkley, Ferndale, Fairhaven, Meridian, and Sehome Haggen stores—and at Dewey Griffin Subaru and the Bellingham Senior Center throughout the month—as many as 250 people will receive supplies of nonperishable comestibles intended to feed the need if the time arises when their regular deliveries can’t get to them or if they’re running low on pantry staples.
Donations of food and funds will be used to assemble emergency meal bags that will be distributed to Meals on Wheels participants in early December. Suggested items that will be accepted include canned tuna, chicken, turkey or roast beef; canned chili or stew; peanut butter; canned fruit; oatmeal; canned or boxed soup; granola and breakfast bars; hot cocoa packets and more.
While this particular event is designed to help out in emergency circumstances, the program provides food-related assistance to those ages 60 and older throughout the year. In 2018, Meals on Wheels and More served more than 100,000 freshly prepared senior community meals at 12 sites in Whatcom and San Juan counties, and delivered approximately 98,000 nutritionally balanced meals to homebound seniors throughout the two counties—a whopping 60 percent increase over the past four years.
Funding for the program comes from a variety of sources such as the Older American Act, Washington state and local governments, United Way, grants, client meal donations and community partners, but contributions from the populace are still necessary to meet the bottom line.
“It is our goal to ensure that all Whatcom and San Juan seniors have access to the nutrition they need to remain healthy and independent in their homes as long as possible,” representatives from the Whatcom Council on Aging say. “Every meal we provide meets at least one third of a senior’s daily nutritional requirements.”
They say older people are at risk for malnutrition for a number of reasons, including chronic or acute illnesses, a decreased ability to shop for and prepare healthy meals, depression and a lack of money. Those who can make it to local senior centers don’t have to be members to partake, and for those who have difficulty leaving home without assistance, meals will be delivered to their front door on a regular basis.
If you’d like to consider donating more than food or cash during this season of giving, consider the gift of your time. Although Meals on Wheels and More employs eight full-time and 11 part-time staff members in both counties, they also depend on the contributions of more than 100 dedicated volunteers each week.
To find out what you need to do do be a part of helping feed your fellow community members, representatives from the program will be on hand at all “Stuff the Trunk” locales. They’ll be happy to steer you in the right direction.
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