Food Lion Feeds Donates $20,000 to Local Meals on Wheels Agencies to Help End Senior Hunger
As part of Meals on Wheels America’s 17th Annual March for Meals campaign, Food Lion Feeds is donating $20,000 in food and financial donations to local Meals on Wheels agencies in six communities across our service area.
But our commitment to end senior hunger goes further than just a check, just like Meals on Wheels is more than just delivering hot meals to seniors.
Meals on Wheels is about building relationships with our neighbors who receive the nutritious meals and also delivering friendship wrapped up in meaningful conversations.
As part of our commitment to the towns and cities we serve, local Food Lion associates partnered with local Meals on Wheels agencies in Columbia, S.C., Conway, S.C. and Richmond, Va., this week.
Lorri Ayer and Kelly Shane were two of 12 Food Lion associates who helped prepare and deliver hot, nutritious meals to Columbia, S.C., seniors. Food Lion's participation was part of the nationwide March for Meals campaign to raise awareness of senior hunger in local communities
“This is mine and Kelly’s third year volunteering for March for Meals”, said Ayer, the store manager at the Food Lion located at 11107 Broad River Rd. in Irmo, S.C., a few miles northeast of Columbia.
When asked why they volunteer for this event each year, Shane, a local customer service manager said, “It’s very rewarding and I really enjoy it. The seniors are always really happy to see us”.
Ayers added, “We’ve had some of them invite us in and pray and they really want to talk to you.”
Senior Resources, Inc., the local Meals on Wheels affiliate in Columbia, S.C., currently provides meals for 1,015 homebound seniors and disabled adults in the Richland County area. Due to a lack of funding, 103 eligible seniors are currently on the waiting list to begin receiving Meals on Wheels.
“Most people don’t realize that the cost to support one senior for a year is actually less than the cost of one day in the hospital,” Senior Resources Director of Development Bridget Winston told volunteers. “Emergency room and hospital visits drop by 85 percent within 30 days of a senior being in the Meals on Wheels program.”
Additionally, Senior Resources provides a source of daily social contact for people who would otherwise be alone. Because volunteers check on meal recipients every day, people who live alone can feel safe, knowing that someone would notice if anything were to happen to them.
Further east in Conway, S.C., Food Lion associates were also making an impact nourishing seniors in that community.
“I can truly say that in our everyday, busy lives we underestimate how much a rose and a little food can do for the body and the soul,” said Elain Gore, Deputy Director of Horry County Council on Aging, the local Meals on Wheels affiliate, which delivers meals to 400 county seniors every week.
Gore welcomed a group of local Food Lion store managers this week as they prepared to help deliver meals to seniors across Horry County.
Among them was Ed Johnson, the store manager at the Food Lion just down the road from the Council on Main Street in Conway, S.C. Ed and Elaine know each other well as Ed often donates bread and flowers to the Council for their seniors.
“The seniors really enjoy getting the flowers, so I like to donate as often as I can just to put a smile on their face,” said Johnson.
Johnson’s support of the agency inspired Food Lion associates to donate flower bouquets so that each senior served through the March for Meals campaign would receive a rose especially for them. Associates also prepared and donated grocery bags of peanut butter, crackers and soups for each of the seniors to receive with their meals this week and presented the Council with a $1,500 contribution for their meal delivery programs.
“It was a day I will never forget,” said Larry Nieman, one of the local Food Lion leaders in the area. “The seniors were so happy to see us and get their bags of groceries and flowers. I am proud to be a part of our company and the support Food Lion provides in the communities we serve.”
At another event in Richmond, Va., associates also gave flowers, food and good conversations to seniors in need.
“The roses that we gave each senior we visited put a great big smile on their face,” said Frankie Marshburn, Director of Operations for the Richmond area.
Frankie and his team of Food Lion volunteers helped deliver meals to nearly 40 seniors throughout Richmond, Va., this week. For the fourth consecutive year, Food Lion partnered with FeedMore, the local food bank and Meals on Wheels partner, to support their Meals on Wheels program to bring about awareness of senior hunger in the Richmond area.
“You could truly see that they appreciated having our Food Lion associates at their door with a meal and flowers. It felt really good to continue our partnership with Feed More to bring awareness to the fact that 8 out of 10 of our low-income seniors are still not able to get the meals that they need to nourish themselves,” said Marshburn.
Through Food Lion Feeds, the associates donated $1,500 to FeedMore Meals on Wheels program and made a product donation to support their continued efforts to reach each senior in need and ensure none of our seniors go hungry.
Food Lion also has other similar Meals on Wheels events scheduled for Fayetteville, N.C., and Belmont, N.C., next week.
Food Lion believes no one should have to choose between dinner and rent, and as part of that commitment our associates are working to make sure no one goes hungry inside or outside of our stores in the towns and cities we serve.
To learn more about how Food Lion is helping feed its neighbors in need, please visit www.FoodLion.com/feeds.