Greer Community Ministries (GCM) is celebrating the 15th Annual March for Meals campaign during the week of March 20-24. Community Champions will join our regular team of volunteer drivers on a Meals on Wheels route to cultivate awareness for this vital program. They are pledging to fight for GCM’s mission, which is to make sure that no elderly, homebound, or disadvantaged person in the greater Greer area goes hungry.
The 2017 Community Champions are: Greer Mayor Rick Danner, Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Owens, Greer Councilman Lee Dumas, Greer Fire Chief Dorian Flowers, GCM board members Ann Sheridan, Marney Hannon, Daniel Hughes, Joe Cate, and Don Owens, Mark and Amanda Hopper, representing Hopper Financial and the Greer Centennial Lions Club, Laurenda Norris, owner of Laurenda’s restaurant, Jack Lucas, representing GrandSouth Bank, Dr. Brandi Casto-Waters and Whitney Moss of Greer First Presbyterian Church, and Sue Palmer, representing Greenville Elks Lodge 858.
The threat of hunger is an issue faced by more than 172,600 senior adults in South Carolina alone. Without the support of Greer Community Ministries’ Meals on Wheels program, many seniors would go hungry right here in Greer.
Meals on Wheels is a proven public-private partnership that effectively addresses the challenges of aging by promoting health and improving quality of life for our nation’s most vulnerable seniors. When someone is referred by their medical doctor to receive Meals on Wheels, they receive nutritious food, safety checks, and friendly visits from volunteers that truly care about them.
The latest statistics from Meals on Wheels recipients show that 81 percent say it improves their health, 92 percent say it enables them to remain living at home, and 90 percent say it makes them feel more safe and secure. The program provides senior citizens independence, dignity and self-respect because they can stay in their own homes knowing they will receive a nutritious meal. Often, the visit from a volunteer driver may be the only contact that these homebound, elderly and disabled recipients have with the outside world.
Greer Meals on Wheels is a critical program serving our homebound neighbors and it needs the commitment of able citizens throughout Greer. Support it by driving a route, purchasing meals or praying for the continued success of the program. Our doors are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and visitors are welcome to see first-hand the impact of neighbors helping neighbors through Meals on Wheels and the other programs we provide. Greer Community Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
On March 22, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and established a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. That same year, GCM began preparing and serving meals in this community.
For nearly 45 years, Meals on Wheels programs have delivered more than just nutritious meals to homebound seniors in virtually every community across the country. The dedicated staff and volunteers who deliver these meals each week provide a vital lifeline and connection to the community, which are sometimes all it takes to keep our senior neighbors at home, where they want to be. Meals on Wheels programs have come together each March since 2002 to celebrate this proven collaboration of local community organizations, businesses, all levels of government and compassionate individuals to ensure that our seniors are not forgotten.
• Krista Gibson is Media/Marketing Coordinator for Greer Community Ministries.