Metro Meals on Wheels and the EBT Pilot Project
Food insecurity and poverty are serious problems among seniors. Food insecurity, and the accompanying likelihood of reduced nutrient intake, can compromise one's health. Senior's experiencing food insecurity are increasingly susceptible to a myriad of poor health outcomes. According to the most recent data, in 2013 8.7 percent of all households with a person aged 65 or older were “food insecure,” meaning that their access to adequate food was limited by lack of money and other resources. According to the Meals on Wheels Association of America, 31,676 seniors in Idaho are currently struggling with hunger. Of that number 18,389 or 58% receive help from Meals on Wheels. This still leaves 13,287 people hungry. This program aims to change that.
The Meals on Wheels Association of America is the oldest and largest national organization that centers on senior nutrition. Metro Meals on Wheels in Ada County is in the process of integrating EBT as a form of payment for senior citizens. EBT or Electronic Benefits Transfer is like a debit card for food stamps recipients. In Idaho, almost 25% of all food stamp participants are in families with elderly or disabled members. Yet, on a national level only an estimated 35 percent of eligible seniors participate in the Food Stamp Program. This program will provide educational and outreach opportunities for Metro Meals on Wheels to increase food stamp participation among senior citizens. This would create many positive changes, such as:
· Helping senior citizens remain independent.
· Allows a choice of payment.
· Delivers greater access to nutrition for senior citizens.
· Provides additional resources for Metro Meals on Wheels.
· Produces extra revenue to expand our reach into our community.
Interested in Volunteering for Meals on Wheels?
Metro Meals on Wheels relies on volunteers to deliver and serve over 900 hot, nutritious meals each weekday and more than 700 frozen meals each weekend throughout Ada County.
Volunteer opportunities include delivering meals at lunch time and assisting with food preparation and packaging. We can work with your schedule - so if you have a free lunch hour once or twice a week, or even once a month, we would love to hear from you!
For further inquiries about the pilot project, or volunteer opportunities contact Cheryl Johnson at:
Cheryl Johnson - Services & Volunteer Coordinator