(l-r) MOWRI Board Chairman Corey McCarty, MOWRI Executive Director Meghan Grady, and R.I. Gov. Daniel J. McKee

Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island Launches March for Meals Campaign

Rhode Island Governor Daniel J. McKee declared March as “March for Meals Month” Tuesday at the Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island kickoff celebration for its annual public awareness and fundraising campaign.

Governor McKee emphasized the pivotal role that Meals on Wheels of RI plays in enhancing nutrition and social connections for the homebound elderly population in the state. Describing it as an essential lifeline for thousands of vulnerable citizens, he proudly proclaimed March as the dedicated month for raising awareness and support for the program.

The “March for Meals” initiative aims to unite program clients, elected officials, business leaders, community members, volunteers, and donors to amplify the visibility and impact of Meals on Wheels of RI. The organization is dedicated to meeting the nutritional and social needs of at-risk Rhode Islanders, enabling them to maintain safe and independent lifestyles.

The roots of the campaign trace back to March 22, 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed into law an amendment to the Older Americans Act of 1965, establishing permanent national nutrition programming for older adults, including home-delivered meals. Each March, Meals on Wheels of RI commemorates this anniversary through the March for Meals campaign.

The 2024 campaign kickoff took place at St. Martin de Porres Center, a program site for Meals on Wheels of RI’s Capital City Cafe Program (congregate dining).

Meghan Grady, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of RI, highlighted the rapidly growing senior population in the state and the increased demand for essential services across health and social service sectors. Grady urged Rhode Islanders to support March for Meals and Meals on Wheels of RI to work towards a vision where all older adults live nourished lives with independence and dignity.

In 2023, Meals on Wheels of RI served over 3,500 at-risk Rhode Islanders with more than 381,000 meals through nutritional programming. The organization also focused on advancing health equity by addressing social determinants of health, including initiatives like restaurant dining, maternal health, pet food delivery, and senior wish fulfillment.

As part of the March for Meals activities, legislators, including members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, will personally deliver meals to Meals on Wheels clients throughout the state.

Corporate sponsors expressed their commitment to the cause, with Don Troppoli, Senior Vice President at Webster Bank, highlighting their pride in sponsoring March for Meals. The partnership with Meals on Wheels of RI aligns with Webster Bank’s commitment to strengthening community well-being.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island also voiced its support for Meals on Wheels, emphasizing the value of their longstanding partnership. Christina Pitney, Senior Vice President for Government Programs, emphasized the alignment of their work with Meals on Wheels and the importance of keeping seniors healthy and independent in their homes.

The campaign aims to build community awareness and support for Meals on Wheels of RI, highlighting the critical services they provide to the state’s aging population.




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