Support will help to fight senior isolation and hunger in Metro east

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ALTON – Senior Services Plus (SSP) will be participating in the 14th annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meals on Wheels and the homebound and vulnerable seniors who rely on its vital safety net. SSP’s March for Meals celebration will include hosting local and elected officials in meal delivery during “Community Champions Week,” March 21-27, 2016.

Senior Services Plus is home to the area’s Meals on Wheels program that helps low-income and at-risk seniors that rely on the program for 33 percent of their daily nutrition and allows them to remain living in their homes. In January SSP announced that they had to cut 40 percent of deliveries for the program due to the Illinois budget impasse.

Since 2002, Meals on Wheels America has led the annual awareness campaign in an effort to fill the gap between the seniors served and those in need that is widening due to increased demand with a rapidly aging population combined with declining public and private resources, and rising food, transportation and operational costs. This March, hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs, like SSP, will reach out to their communities to build the support that will enable them to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to America’s seniors all year long.

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“The Meals on Wheels ‘more than just a meal’ model addresses three of the biggest threats of aging: isolation, hunger and loss of independence,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “More than ever, we must join forces to meet the needs of the fastest growing population in America who want to be able to live at home for as long as they can. It not only makes economic sense to enable seniors to stay healthy and safe at home, but it improves the health and vibrancy of our communities and our nation at large.”

Senior Services Plus is a non-profit United Way agency established to help enrich the lives of older adults through programs and services that encourage independent living and provide opportunities and resources to individuals as they age. SSP offers a wide variety of affordable services to all ages from fitness and travel to Meals on Wheels and homecare. The organization serves residents of Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois and in St. Louis City and County. To find out more about the organization and the Meals on Wheels program please visit www.seniorservicesplus.org or call 618-465-3298.

About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million 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, research, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.

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