Today in the United States, 10 million seniors face the threat of hunger and millions more live in isolation. Across America, Meals on Wheels currently serves more than 2 million homebound seniors annually, and yet the number of seniors in the country is expected to double by 2050.
In Houston, Meals on Wheels serves more than 4,200 seniors, and the waiting list continues to grow. That’s why Meals on Wheels America, in partnership with the Ad Council, is kicking off a new chapter of the successful volunteer recruitment initiative, “America, Let’s Do Lunch” (AmericaLetsDoLunch.org). IM’s Meals on Wheels program is joining the effort to help inspire a new generation of volunteers in Greater Houston to meet the rising need.
Every day, IM’s employees and volunteers deliver more than 4,200 meals along with friendly visits and safety checks to those who need them most. While the meal delivery is important, 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.
“Many of our clients see just one person throughout the whole day: their Meals on Wheels volunteer. With a smile, a kind ‘hello’ and a quick conversation, volunteers deliver so much more than a meal to their homebound neighbors,” says Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “This impact is not only meaningful to the seniors served. Research overwhelmingly shows that volunteers delivering for Meals on Wheels find it so gratifying, they almost see it as ‘selfish’.”
The Let’s Do Lunch campaign has inspired nearly 100,000 new volunteers to sign up nationwide. It has secured more than $50 million of donated media and formed partnerships with outlets like Upworthy, Facebook and The New York Times, and talent including Baddiewinkle and Meghan Camarena.
Come volunteer for Meals on Wheels at IM to help reduce the number of seniors on our waiting list! For more information, please visit imgh.org or call 713-533-4937.