Meals On Wheels Elects New Board President

TAMPA, FL, Friday, August 4, 2017 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa elected a new Board of Director’s President, Jana Boehmer, this month.                    

Jana, Employee Wellness Dietitian at James A Haley VA Hospital, was appointed in July, for terms ending in 2019.

We are thrilled to introduce Jana Boehmer as the new President of Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s Board of Directors! Jana Boehmer, MSM, RD, LD/N is a registered and licensed dietitian. She earned a Bachelors degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Florida in 2003 and a Masters of Science degree in Management from the University of South Florida in 2013.

Jana is the Employee Wellness Dietitian at James A. Haley VA Hospital and Clinics. Since joining the VA in 2005, she has also held the position, Chief of Nutrition and Food Services at James A. Haley. Jana has been a member of the Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors since 2011 and is an active member of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a proud wife and mom of two boys.

 “We are very excited about Jana leading our Board of Directors at MOW!  Her passion and commitment, combined with her desire to serve and her many skills as a professional, is a great addition to our mission as we continue to care for the homebound and seniors of Tampa!” said Steve King, Executive Director of Meals On Wheels of Tampa.

The Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors include:

Jana Boehmer, President, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital

Wilda Isabel, Vice President, Fifth Third Bank

Fred Wallrapp, Treasurer, Tribute Telecom

Christine “Chris” Smith, Assistant Treasurer, Tomlin St Cyr & Associates

Kathy Ritchie, Secretary, Rieth & Ritchie, P.A

 

Mary Alvarez, Community Volunteer

Michelle Backlund, Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, Inc.

Doreen Greco Ide, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Dolores McIntosh Community Volunteer

Holly O’Brien, Wiliam E Hahn, P.A.

Ed O’Carroll, Past President, Gulfshore Bank

Nick Overby, HDR

Dennis Pitocco, Past President, BIZCATALYST 360°

Laura Sherman, BKS Partners

Amy Shimberg, Past President

Cathy Smith, Past President, PAR, Inc.

Marschall Tucker, TECO Tampa Electric 

Doug Tuttle, Past President, Seacoast Bank

Linda Washington, Coca-Cola

Beverly White, All Generations Law

 

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Volunteer story: How Meals On Wheels changed my life…

          For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for helping others and a soft spot for the less fortunate, or people going through difficult times. Regardless of recognition, I have always felt an overwhelming reward while helping someone else. That “feel good” sensation has driven me to continue helping people in my community. I want to tell you my story about how I became committed to the mission of Meals On Wheels of Tampa.

          I never “had time” to volunteer, as it would take away from what I really wanted to do. Between going to the beach, having an active social life, and sleeping in, my time just wasn’t negotiable. With school and work taking up a good portion of my time, I felt like I hardly had time for myself. Years passed and I was in a cycle of doing what I felt like was more than most. I gave spare change to the homeless and supported my friends and their dreams; I felt good.

Ana-Karina Guerra delivering to a recipient.

          At a point something changed. I’m not sure what it was, but it changed and I became different. I was so tired of constantly seeing social media posts about people in need and the lack of sensitivity coming from my peers. It seemed as if all anyone was doing, including myself, was hitting the share button, like no one was actually doing anything to make a real difference. So, I decided to look within myself to become more aware of what was important to me, and what made me happy.

          It’s funny how the universe places opportunities in your path when you commit to a new way of thinking. One day I came across Meals On Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa). Their mission spoke volumes to me. MOWTampa is committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors. It correlated with what I was trying to accomplish. The organization provides hope, support, companionship, care, patience, and love to our communities elderly and homebound. MOWTampa’s involvement within the senior community is substantial! Did you know 1 in every 6 seniors experience hunger, and 1 in 5 experience loneliness? For many recipients, the visit from a volunteer is the only human contact they’ll experience in a day. Since 1975, MOWTampa has been strengthening the community by caring for a segment of our population that is often forgotten, the aging and disabled. This privately funded non-profit, which accepts to governmental funds, prepares its own food and relies on help from volunteers to deliver approximately 700 meals to our homebound neighbors each day. Once I learned this, I knew I wanted to get involved.

          I chose to join the team as a volunteer for their Produce On Wheels (POW!) program. On the third Saturday of every month, volunteers deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to recipients. I delivered my first MOWTampa route, about a year ago, and had an absolute blast! Everyone I came into contact with that day was so grateful for the special delivery. It felt amazing to see the smiles that greeted me as I approached each door. Since my first delivery, I have continuously signed up to deliver more routes, and I’m constantly looking forward to volunteering with MOWTampa! When I first began volunteering with MOWTampa, I thought because I worked two jobs that POW! would be my only volunteer option; however, that is not the case! MOWTampa offers numerous volunteer opportunities that fit all schedules, and offers many ways to donate your time and talents.

          I am super excited to have the opportunity to be a virtual volunteer. This allows me to spread the mission of MOWTampa across the community. I want to inspire my generation to look around and actually participate in volunteer work that will progress our society, and MOWTampa has helped me do this. I am able to meet people of all backgrounds, and learn more about them with each visit. If you like to be active on social media join me, and the rest of the virtual volunteers, to help spread the word of what’s going on in our own backyard. Do you like meeting new people? Create a volunteer account by visiting www.MOWTampa.org and help deliver a meal to someone who genuinely needs it. Maybe you love animals. Well, they even partner with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to deliver pet food for those who may not be able to afford pet food or get to the store to buy it, this program is called Animeals. Don’t want to commit just yet? Join their Chef, staff and other community members interested in learning more for a Nourish At Noon community lunch from 12-1pm twice a month, RSVP at www.MOWTampa.org/home/events/nan. You can also follow them on social media on Facebook or Instagram, they post great updates each day!

          I challenge you to help our neighbors however you can. Humble yourself and open your heart to others who need a helping hand right here in Tampa.

 

Visit www.MOWTampa.org to learn more or for other ways to give back to Meals On Wheels.

Over 700 free bags of produce to be delivered to the homes of senior and homebound neighbors this Saturday!

TAMPA, FL, (June 14, 2017) – On Saturday, June 17th, over 100 community volunteers, businesses and groups will participate in Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s Produce On Wheels (POW!) program. This program, partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay, will help increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce.  Dedicated volunteers will give their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver free, pre-packed bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to 700 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) on Saturday morning. Special thanks to the employees of Melting Pot (a Front Burner Brand), Bank of America, HDR Engineering, Inc., Kforce Inc., Mezrah Consulting, and Moffitt Cancer Center for helping to load cars and deliver routes on this day.

There are still 6 routes available for volunteers to sign up to deliver on Saturday. Please visit www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow to select a route, or explore other ways to help.

This month’s free bag of produce will include: an orange, a pear, an apple, kale, chard, cherry tomatoes, a sweet potato, some salad dressing, and additional items donated by Feeding Tampa Bay.

In response to this program, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has developed partnerships with the following groups: Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, Sanwa Farmer’s Market, Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, and others. Their generous contributions have enhanced this month’s delivery.

This monthly event is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa to further their mission of nourishing, enriching, and strengthening the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa.  POW! was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients last year.

“This is such a blessing because I can no longer shop for fresh food. Many thanks to all who helped with this program, it is wonderful! Especially the volunteers who came to see me on a Saturday-what a treat!” said Delores, HDM recipient on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program.

In addition to increasing access to produce, this opportunity has increased volunteer openings for those unavailable to deliver meals during the week.

Recipients also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety. Feedback was recently collected from recipients and volunteers assisting in the evaluation of the program to continue to improve its impact on senior nutrition. Professors and graduate students from USF’s College of Public Health assisted the Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of POW! on Tampa’s homebound citizens. Pre-test, post-test, and process evaluation surveys were completed during 2016. These tests revealed recipients were consuming an additional serving of fresh fruit and half a serving of vegetables each day. This data was recently published in the Florida Public Health Review Journal for other programs to learn from all over the world. In order to keep increasing the impact of POW! on recipients, Meals On Wheels of Tampa is currently looking for funding to expand the program to daily deliveries.

Future POW! delivery dates are Saturday, July 15th, August 19th, September 16th, and October 21st. Interested in delivering POW? Sign up by visiting www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow or call (813) 238-8410.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels of Tampa, HCI Group, MacDill CENTCOM, Moffitt Cancer Center, Suncoast Credit Union, USF Deliver Hurricane Preparedness Packs to Elderly & Homebound Neighbors

TAMPA, Florida – May 22, 2017 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa, HCI Group, CENTCOM, The Moffitt Cancer Center, Suncoast Credit Union, USF and many other dedicated volunteers will be delivering special Hurricane Preparedness Packs to the Meals On Wheels of Tampa recipients on the morning of Saturday, May 20 for the 2017 Hurricane season.

As June approaches we are reminded to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season by our local news stations, grocery stores and businesses.  Many of us have a plan for what we will do when a big storm hits the area.  However, for the homebound and elderly throughout our community, there is no plan.  Because of their inability to drive or move freely, there is no way to gather the supplies they need or to get out of the storm’s path.  Such is the case for many of the recipients served by Meals On Wheels of Tampa every day. 

Hurricane Preparedness Packs will be delivered to all 700 recipients before the hurricane season begins, on Saturday May 20. This pack is given to all program recipients in case a disaster were to occur that prevents volunteers from being able to deliver meals.  Included in the packs are 5 shelf-stable meals, a gallon of water, a shelter evaluation form, a magic bottle opener, and a variety of emergency resource guides.  The pack is free of charge to recipients. This year, funds received from Give Day Tampa Bay helped  cover the cost of the Hurricane Preparedness Pack shelf-stable meals, as well as a generous donation from HCI Group, Inc. MacDill CENTCOM provided the gallons of water. The Meals On Wheels of Tampa High School Leadership Board put on a music festival to raise funds for the magic opener, which will help them to easily open bottles of water.

For the past 12 years, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has developed a plan for its recipients in the event that a large storm does hit the Tampa Bay area.  2 years ago, for the first time ever, Meals On Wheels of Tampa residents had to utilize the shelf stable meals from their Hurricane Preparedness Packs due to major flooding in the South Tampa area.

“It’s absolutely wonderful that the Tampa community came together on this year to provide the much needed funding for this project.  We are also thrilled that the HCI Group and Moffitt Cancer Center are helping with the delivery to those we serve.  We hope our recipients will never be faced with using these items during an actual hurricane, but it’s a comfort to know that they will be prepared in the event that a storm does hit our community,” says Steve King, the Executive Director of Meals On Wheels of Tampa. 

Meals On Wheels of Tampa would like to thank the following groups for coming together on Saturday, May 20, to prepare and deliver these packs: HCI Group, Inc., MacDill CETCOM, TCM Bank, Moffitt Cancer Center, Suncoast Credit Union, USF, and the many other committed MOW Tampa volunteers.  It is a beautiful way of extending a helping hand to those in need in our community.  Hurricane season is June 1st-November 30th each year. 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Student Leadership Board Host ‘Student Music Fest’ to Benefit Tampa’s Senior and Homebound Neighbors Tonight, Friday, May 12th, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Tickets are currently on sale at www.MOWTampa.org/musicfest for $5 at www.MOWTampa.org/musicfest or tickets may also be purchased at the door for $5.

TAMPA, FL (April 22, 2016) – On Friday, May 12th, local high school students from Berkeley Preparatory School, H. B. Plant High School, Hillsborough High School, Jesuit High School, Robinson High School and Tampa Preparatory School, will gather for the 2nd annual Student Music Fest, hosted by Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s High School Leadership Board (HSLB) and Tampa Preparatory School. More than 200 guests will gather from 5:30-7:30 p.m. around the stage at Tampa Prep’s parking lot (722 Cass St.) for the music and dance event of the year. Tickets are currently on sale at www.MOWTampa.org/musicfestfor $5 at www.MOWTampa.org/musicfest or tickets may also be purchased at the door for $5. Tampa Preparatory School will host and sponsor the event.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the HSLB’s project, Water On Wheels (WOW), to encourage healthy hydration by providing magic bottle openers to assist our recipients with opening their water bottles provided with the hot meal delivery each day served by Meals On Wheels of Tampa. Community volunteers will deliver the magic bottle openers, along with hurricane preparedness packs, to all of the program recipients on Saturday, May 20. The project was designed to encourage healthy hydration among our senior and homebound neighbors, since seniors are more at risk of dehydration, especially entering the summer months.

The two-hour event is jam packed with students from Tampa who will perform music and dance acts throughout the night.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the event.  Guests will also be able to purchase T-shirts that displays all 6 participating high school. In addition to the food and drink, guests will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets. Raffle items include hockey sticks and pucks signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning, gift cards to Columbia Restaurant, fresh baked cookies, 4 tickets to Tampa Bay Rays game, House of Blues concert tickets and a round of golf to West Chase Golf Course. All proceeds from this event benefit Tampa’s elderly, disabled and homebound neighbors.

The High School Leadership Board is so excited for the chance to continue their project Water on Wheels. So much time and thought has gone into this fundraiser in order to raise money to benefit our mission to hydrate the homebound in Tampa!

The High School Leadership Board (HSLB) was developed in the Fall of 2015 to provide a unique opportunity for students who want to get more involved with a local non-profit, focused on senior hunger. The mission of the High School Leadership Board (HSLB) is to connect high school students with Meals On Wheels of Tampa and their community, through a variety of activities including volunteering, fundraising and program development. This service-learning and leadership development program is comprised of 14 outstanding high school students. These students contribute to and inform Meals On Wheels of Tampa programming, while acting as ambassadors and leaders in their communities.

Members of the High School Leadership Board include: Maggie Fitzsimmons, Senior, H.B. Plant High School; Karina Barcenas, Junior, Berkeley Preparatory School; Allison “Alli” Blair, Senior, Tampa Preparatory School; Bo Blair, Junior, Tampa Preparatory School; Catie Clark, Junior, Tampa Preparatory School; Scott Cutter, Junior, Robinson High School; Hailey Eckerman, Junior, Academy of Holy Names; Harrison Lorenzen, Senior, Tampa Preparatory School; Ben Miller, Senior, Jesuit High School; Madeline Obregon, Junior, Academy of Holy Names; Bridget O’Carroll, Senior Berkeley Preparatory School; Anna Renou, Senior, H.B. Plant High School; John Robbins, Junior, Jesuit High School; Susannah Wertz, Junior, H.B. Plant High School.
Tickets are $5 per person; tickets include access to Student Music Fest. To purchase tickets, visit www.MOWTampa.org/musicfest or purchase tonight at the event!

If you would like to financially support the HSLB WOW project, please visit https://secure.mowtampa.org/donations/new and indicate ‘HSLB WOW’ in the field ‘company’ or call Lauren Vance @ 813-238-8410 or l.vance@mowtampa.org.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

TECO and Meals on Wheels of Tampa (and you?): A powerful connection to help people in need

Posted on March 24, 2017 by TECObjl
Wheels convey a sense of momentum, of course, and when you see them on vehicles in the community, it’s always at least two or more working together. With Meals On Wheels, TECO team members have a tremendous partnership, a unique opportunity for volunteerism and a vehicle with lots of horsepower – and even better, people power – for helping members of the community in need simply put food on their tables. 
But it’s an effort that needs the help of more than just people at TECO: it needs you. 
“Just as we couldn’t sit by while our elderly parents, grandparents or homebound neighbors went hungry, we can’t sit by when we know there are people out there right now – other peoples’ parents and neighbors – who lack the money or mobility to get their next meal and don’t have anyone in their lives who can help,”  said Marshall Tucker, manager of Corporate Business Development with TECO and Meals On Wheels of Tampa board member. “Unfortunately, that situation is a reality for more and more people – which means the reality for those of us able to help is that we must.

He added, “The typical person that Meals on Wheels helps is elderly and alone – in many cases, these are people who helped build this community when they were younger; now it’s our duty to give back to them with the simple act of providing them with a meal.”

Marshall Tucker, manager of Corporate Business Development with TECO and Meals on Wheels of Tampa board member.

 

A small amount of time – and a safely running car – can do so much to help you show you care

According to historical accounts, Tampa saw its first internal combustion-powered car in 1900 – a year after Tampa Electric began serving the community with safe, reliable electricity and five years after the start of the company that would become Peoples Gas. This mode of transportation, then, has been part of the community, just like us, for well over a century. And when Meals on Wheels first rolled into Tampa in 1975, the groundwork was in place for a partnership that endures to this day.

Unfortunately, hunger and food insecurity endure as well – but so does the drive to help.

“Meals on Wheels of Tampa is so appreciative of TECO for their continuous support of our mission over the years, as community partners, sustainers, sponsors, Adopt-A-Route volunteers and so much more,” said Lauren Vance, director of Communications and Donor Relations with Meals on Wheels of Tampa. “Their financial contribution to our mission each year, provides over 2,000 meals to Tampa’s elderly, disabled and homebound neighbors. And as Adopt-A-Route partners, the employees of TECO give their morning or lunch hour to deliver hot, nourishing meals, while providing a friendly visit and safety check, touching hundreds of lives each year.”

“Meals on Wheels helps the elderly remain independent and living in their home as opposed to having to move to an assisted care facility because they can’t prepare meals,” she said. “That fact alone is so important to TECO’s volunteers – anytime one of them has a scheduling conflict, another is ready to step in and take over the delivery route. That’s just the kind of company this is – and the kind of organizations Meals On Wheels is.”

Buckle up with us for community caring

Again and again, TECO team members who volunteer for Meals on Wheels come back to similar thoughts about why it matters.

“It’s nice to be able to help those in need of a nutritious meal and be able to do it all on your lunch hour once a month,” said Senior Regulatory Accounting Analyst Lindsay O’Bryan. “It’s a small commitment of time, but it really adds up and benefits those that receive the meals as well as those that work for the organization.”

Meals on Wheels: It’s about more than delivering meals to someone who needs them. It’s about connections you make with the power to create a stronger community.

Added Cathy Pettway, utility accounting treasury specialist III: “It’s important to volunteer because without us and others like us delivering meals, they probably wouldn’t be able to cook for themselves or go to the store. Meals on Wheels depends on over 600 volunteers like me and 65 Adopt-a-Route partners like TECO to accomplish its mission.”

For Lisa Grant, regulatory pricing analyst, the personal connections are what stands out about her Meals on Wheels experience.

“I can tell that some of the people I deliver to will not see or talk to anyone else that day and they are so grateful for the daily visits from volunteers,” she said. “Meals on Wheels delivers more than 700 meals daily – that’s incredible for an organization that couldn’t survive without volunteers. “I’m proud to work for a company like TECO that makes helping organizations like Meals on Wheels such a high priority,” Tucker said. “Talk isn’t enough, though, and neither is just saying you care. If homebound people are having to choose between meals and medicine they need, then it’s up to us to act.” 

So what about you?

So that brings us to you, dear reader: maybe your quote in this blog would be about the joy of driving to see someone whose life depends in part on you – and the appreciation you receive for a simple act of caring. About how surprisingly easy it can be to make a difference. Or about how you know that not knowing where you next meal will come from might be scarier than almost anything. 

Simply bringing food to the hungry: It’s about basic compassion; it’s about a small amount of time you can share. It’s about how the rubber, as they say, hits the road. 

Learn how you can help Meals on Wheels of Tampa by attending upcoming lunch workshops at 550 W. Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa: Noon to 1 p.m. on March 29, April 6, or April 18. Taste the food, tour the kitchen and make a difference right away: Delivery routes for volunteers are often available within a day’s time.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


Meals On Wheels of Tampa has purchased from the owners the land where Manny’s Nursery is located

In order to meet the growing need of feeding the homebound and seniors of Tampa and to fulfill our long term vision of expanding our kitchen and facility, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has purchased from the owners the land where Manny’s Nursery is located. This purchase was completed 3/30/17 with consideration of and commitment to keeping Manny operating on this property as he finds a location to continue his business in the area. Manny’s On the Bay Plants has been a valued and caring neighbor of MOWTampa and we look forward to many more years of supporting each other as together we work to serve our community. We are thankful for everything our community members have given to this mission for the past 43 years!

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Over 100 volunteers will give Saturday morning to bring fresh fruits & veggies to Tampa’s elderly, disabled and homebound neighbors

TAMPA, FL, (March 18) – On Saturday, March 18th, over 100 community volunteers, businesses and groups will participate in Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s Produce On Wheels (POW!) program, in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, to increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce.  Dedicated volunteers will give their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver pre-packed bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to 700 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) on Saturday  morning.  Produce bags are free of charge to HDM recipients.

There are still 10 routes available that need volunteers to sign up for to deliver. Please visit www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow or call (813) 238-8410 to sign up or to find out how you can help.

In response to this program, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has developed partnerships with the following groups: Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, Sanwa Farmer’s Market, Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, and others. Their generous contributions have enhanced this month’s delivery.

This monthly event is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa whose mission is to nourish, enrich, and strengthen the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa.  POW! was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients last year.

“Thank you so much for the bag of fresh produce! This is such a blessing because I can no longer shop for fresh food. Many thanks to all who helped with this program, it is wonderful! Especially the volunteers who came to see me on a Saturday-what a treat!” said Delores, HDM recipient on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program.

In addition to increasing access to produce, this opportunity has increased volunteer opportunities for those who may not be available to deliver meals during the week.

Recipients also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety.  Feedback was recently collected from recipients and volunteers to assist in the evaluation of the program to continue to improve its impact on senior nutrition. Professors and graduate students from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health assisted Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of the POW! program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound. Pre-test, post-test, and process evaluation surveys were completed during 2016 and revealed recipients were consuming an additional serving of fresh fruit and half of a serving of vegetables each day.  In order to keep increasing the impact of POW! on recipients, Meals On Wheels of Tampa is currently looking for funding to expand the program.

Future POW! delivery dates are Saturday, April 8th   and Saturday, June 17th. On Saturday, May 20th, volunteer will deliver hurricane preparedness packs to all recipients on the program. A collection for gallons of water is also underway March-May. Please visit www.mowtampa.org/volunteer/volunteerneed to sign up!

Interested in delivering POW? Sign up by visiting www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow or call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.

MEDIA: If you would like to follow a volunteer on their route to get footage of seniors accepting bag at their front door, please call LAUREN (813) 238-8410.  Best time for Media Coverage:  9:30 AM -10:30 AM at Meals On Wheels of Tampa office, 550 W. Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33603 then you can leave with a volunteer in your car and follow along to a few homes.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Young People Set to Lift the Spirits of Tampa Seniors One Valentine’s Day Card at a Time

Tampa, FL (February 14, 2017) – More than 15.5 million seniors in America live alone and face isolation due to declining mobility and geographic location. That’s 1 in 5 seniors suffering from loneliness and isolation.  To help combat the negative effects of isolation, DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, has teamed up with Meals on Wheels America, the oldest and largest national organization supporting community-based senior nutrition programs, for the fourth annual Love Letters campaign.

Tampa seniors served by Meals On Wheels of Tampa are set to receive handmade Valentine’s Day cards created by youth volunteers from across the country this Valentine’s Day. The agency has also received hundreds of valentines from local groups and clubs.

“The outpouring of support we receive from our community in terms of handmade cards around the holidays, like Valentine’s Day, is overwhelming and beautiful. It is just one more reminder that simple acts, like this, right in your own community, can really brighten someone’s day.  This means the world to them, to know that someone else is thinking about them, it brings a tear to my eye,” Steve King, Executive Director at Meals On Wheels of Tampa.

The popular campaign, encouraging young people to create handmade Valentine’s Day cards to lift the spirits of older adults this winter, runs through February 15, 2017 and cards will be included in meal deliveries to Meals On Wheels clients across the country.

Love Letters is one of DoSomething.org’s most popular campaigns because young people get to use their creativity to help brighten older adults’ day during a peak time of isolation and depression,” said Michelle Fino, Chief Marketing Officer at DoSomething.org.

Since 2014, the popular campaign has generated nearly one million cards that have been distributed through Meals on Wheels America’s network of local programs, which serves 2.4 million homebound seniors each year. The support of this network provides is critical to helping them maintain enough independence to stay in their own homes.

Visit www.dosomething.org/loveletters to get involved.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding. For more information, visit 
www.MOWTampa.org.

About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, research, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.

About DoSomething.org
DoSomething.org is the largest tech company exclusively for young people and social change. We’re activating 5.5 million young people (and counting!) to make positive change, online and off, in every US zip code and in over 131 countries. When you join DoSomething, you join something bigger than yourself. You team up with the young people who have clothed half of America’s youth in homeless shelters. And cleaned up 3.7 million cigarette butts from the streets. And run the largest youth-led sports equipment drive in the world. And more! You’ve got the power and the passion to make an impact — we’ll help you get it done. Welcome to DoSomething. Let’s Do This.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s High School Leadership Board to launch daily hydration program Tuesday January 3rd, thanks to Lightning Foundation, benefiting senior & homebound neighbors all year long

TAMPA, FL (January 3, 2017) – On Tuesday, January 3, Meals On Wheels of Tampa will launch new program, Water On Wheels (WOW), in partnership with the Lightning Foundation and Lightning Community Heroes Program, which provides Meals On Wheels Recipients 8 oz bottles of water, each day, to encourage healthy hydration.

Starting Tuesday morning, Volunteers will deliver bottles of water to each person on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program, at the same time as delivering the daily hot meal, to over 700 senior and homebound meal Recipients in Tampa.  Water is free of charge to Recipients.  This program is a vital component to the agency’s 41-year old mission of nourishing, enriching and strengthening the independent lives of seniors and homebound, since seniors are more at risk of dehydration.

The WOW program was developed by Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s High School Leadership Board (HSLB) this past year to encourage healthy hydration. The program was developed directly in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients last year. The student led group, which is comprised of Junior and Senior students from 5 local high schools, raised funds over the past year to provide reusable water tumblers, flavor packets, and educational materials to all 700+ seniors and homebound served by MOWTampa each day. The group also organized Tampa’s first ever Student Music Fest to benefit the WOW program.

In order to continue impacting the health of WOW on Recipients, HSLB President, Maggie Fitzsimmons, a Senior at H.B. Plant High School, took this project a step further, by applying and receiving the first ever Lightning Community Heroes of Tomorrow award (click here to see a 2 min video)!  Thanks to the generosity from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, all active Recipients on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program will receive free water bottles, along with their hot meal delivery, Monday through Friday, throughout 2017.

“My grandfather was a Recipient of Meals On Wheels. My Dad and I used to go to the story to buy him cases of water bottles because we knew Meals On Wheels did not provide that,” said Fitzsimmons. “Seeing I could do that for my Grandfather, I realize there are probably a lot of Recipients that don’t have somebody to do that for them. Drinking water is important for everyone, but especially important for the health of seniors and homebound.”

In response to this program, partnerships have been developed with local business, Ultra Pure Bottled Water, Inc.  Existing partnerships with groups like Feeding Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida, and the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger have been further strengthened as a result.

The HSLB was developed in the Fall of 2015 to provide a unique opportunity for students who want to get more involved with a local non-profit, focused on senior hunger. The mission of the HSLB is to connect high school students with Meals On Wheels of Tampa and their community, through a variety of activities including volunteering, fundraising and program development. This service-learning and leadership development group is comprised of outstanding high school students from 5 local high schools: Academy of Holy Names, Berkeley Preparatory School, H.B. Plant High School, Jesuit High School, and Tampa Preparatory School. These students contribute to and inform Meals On Wheels of Tampa programming, while acting as ambassadors and leaders in their communities.

Members of the 2016-2017 HSLB include: Maggie Fitzsimmons, Board President, Senior, H.B. Plant High School; Karina Barcenas, Junior, Berkeley Preparatory School; Allison Blair, Senior, Tampa Preparatory School; Bo Blair, Junior, Tampa Preparatory School; Catie Clark, Junior, Tampa Preparatory School; Hailey Eckerman, Junior, Academy of Holy Names; Harrison Lorenzen, Senior, Tampa Preparatory School; Ben Miller, Senior, Jesuit High School; Madeline Obregon, Junior, Academy of Holy Names; Bridget O’Carroll, Senior, Berkeley Preparatory School; John Robbins, Junior, Jesuit High School; and Susannah Wertz, Junior, Plant High School. The HSLB is led by Steve King, Executive Director, and Lauren Vance, Director Communications and Donor Relations.

Volunteers will receive a series of communications before the WOW program launch, with tips regarding consumption and reminders to recycle. Recipients will also receive educational information about hydration throughout the year.  Feedback will also be collected from Recipients and Volunteers to evaluate WOW so we can continue to improve the program. Staff will evaluate the effectiveness of this program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound. Pre-test surveys have been completed; post-test surveys will begin this Spring.

“The High School Leadership Board is so excited for the chance to bring our project Water on Wheels to life! So much time and thought has gone into the initial fundraiser to raise money to benefit our mission to hydrate the homebound in Tampa!” Bridget O’Carroll, Senior at Berkeley Preparatory School.

For additional information or to schedule a ride along on January 3, please contact Lauren Vance at (813) 238-8410 or L.Vance@mowtampa.org.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels Volunteers Pack & ­­Deliver Flowers, Baked Goods, and More to 700 Homebound on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Morning

TAMPA, FL (November 23, 2016) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa) volunteers will pack over 700 bags for recipients on Wednesday, November 25th for delivery on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 26th.  Bags contain homemade cards from local schools and groups, cookies from non-profit High Hopes in High Heels, homemade pies from nonprofit Creative Kids Count, pie from the Grand Hyatt, decorated bags from Tampa Prep School and Primavera School, and flowers from Random Acts of Flowers. Volunteers from Suncoast and community volunteers will spend the morning together at Meals On Wheels packing bags to be delivered to our senior and homebound neighbors.

Over 100 community members and families will volunteer their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver these bags filled with homemade cards, fresh baked goods, and flowers to homebound neighbors on the morning of Thanksgiving.  Volunteers will pick up items from MOWTampa between 9:30-10:30am. Routes will take volunteers about an hour to complete.

The goal of this mission is to let the homebound members of Tampa know they are loved and thought about during the holiday season, and not forgotten.  For most of the recipients this might be the only person they see over the 4-day holiday weekend.

This mission could not have been fulfilled without the hundreds of volunteers who have come together.  All Thanksgiving goodies have been collected and contributed by this community, with dozens of contributions from schools and many faith based organizations. A special thank you to Random Acts of Flowers for providing bud vases for each recipient.

“We appreciate the generosity and support from our community to help fill the gift bags,” stated Steve King, Executive Director, “a value can not be placed on the difference one small act of kindness will make in our recipients holidays.”

MOW encourages neighbors to help neighbors this holiday season and not to forget the hidden faces of our homebound.  Stop in and say hello, you may be the only person they see today.

For additional information or to schedule a ride along for Thanksgiving Morning media coverage, please contact Lauren Vance at l.vance@mowtampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 or cell (847) 529-8628

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram |YouTube


 

Meals On Wheels of Tampa to raise funds for fresh Produce On Wheels deliveries this #GivingTuesday, a National Day of Giving

TAMPA, FL (November 16, 2016) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa) has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

“Meals On Wheels is excited to take part in this special day!” said Steve King, Executive Director. “Our goal this year is to raise $3,000 to support our mission of providing nourishing food to our elderly and homebound neighbors, through the Produce On Wheels program.  This special program allows our neighbors to remain nourished, and cared for, while living independently in their own homes.”

Last year, MOWTampa developed a new program called Produce On Wheels (POW!) in response to the expressed request from Recipients for increased access to fruits and vegetables. POW! offers all 700+ recipients the delivery of a free bag of fresh produce taken to their homes on one Saturday of each month. Recipients love the new program, as demonstrated by testimonials and letters received after each delivery.  MOWTampa has successfully demonstrated an outcome of increased servings of daily fruit and vegetable intake, with help from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health.

Each POW! delivery costs approximately $1,000.  Come together this #GivingTuesday to raise funds for 3 additional POW! deliveries, including operational costs, to help MOWTampa reach their goal of $3,000.

Donations will be accepted on MOWTampa’s website at www.MOWTampa.org, and the public is invited to visit MOWTampa (550 W. Hillsborough Ave. Tampa, FL 33603) on November 29th to try our food and for a tour of the kitchen and facility to see firsthand how their contributions benefit this mission and programs, while impacting the community.

With the support of our community partners this #GivingTuesday, we can provide fresh produce to all 700 homebound and senior meal recipients one Saturday each month.  These Saturday morning deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables have been a huge success!

We are calling on you, on Tuesday, November 29th, on this national day of giving, to bring smiles to those in need in your community by donating to Meals On Wheels of Tampa by visiting www.MOWTampa.org or by calling 813-238-8410.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Youngest board member ever joins Board

Meals On Wheels of Tampa elected a new board member, Nick Overby, this month.

Nick, Project Engineer for HDR, was appointed in October, for terms ending in 2019.overby-nick-2

Nick joins the Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors with an established commitment and passion for giving back to the community. Growing up in Central Florida, he was actively involved in Seminole county’s Meals On Wheels, ETC. program as a volunteer alongside his family. His father, Brian Overby, was a long-time board member and former director, who helped make the building of a new kitchen and office facility a reality for Meals on Wheels, ETC.  As a high school student at Lake Mary, Nick worked in the kitchen and as office support staff while earning his Bright Futures scholarship.

Nick graduated from Florida State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. While at FSU, he was involved in a variety of philanthropic projects through his fraternity. He began his professional career with HDR, Tampa as a Project Engineer shortly after graduation. During his time with HDR, he has served two terms as the President for their Young Professionals Group. The focus of Young Professionals is to encourage professional career development, as well as, bettering the community through volunteerism. The HDR, Tampa Young Professionals group has been involved in many charitable activities including Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Hope Children’s Fund, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Miles for Melanoma and Habitat for Humanity. As Nick begins to transition out of his leadership role in this capacity, he has recently been selected to serve on the corporate foundation board for HDR, headquartered in Omaha, NE. This three year commitment will allow Nick an opportunity to participate in global giving opportunities while serving to review and assist in selecting in which projects the corporate foundation will support. In addition to these commitments, he is working on his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Tampa, with an expected graduation of spring 2018.

“We are very excited about Nick joining our Board at MOW!  His passion and commitment to our mission, combined with his desire to serve and his many skills as a young professional, is a great addition to our mission as we continue to care for the homebound and seniors of Tampa!” said Steve King, Executive Director of Meals On Wheels of Tampa.

 

The Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors include:

Dennis Pitocco, President, BIZCATALYST 360°

Wilda Isabel, Vice President, Fifth Third Bank

Fred Wallrapp, Treasurer, Tribute Telecom

Jana Boehmer, Assistant Treasurer, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital

Kathy Ritchie, Secretary, Rieth & Ritchie, P.A

 

Mary Alvarez, Community Volunteer

Michelle Backlund, Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, Inc.

Doreen Greco Ide, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Dolores McIntosh Community Volunteer

Holly O’Brien, Wiliam E Hahn, P.A.

Ed O’Carroll, Past President, Gulfshore Bank

Nick Overby, HDR

Laura Sherman, BKS Partners

Amy Shimberg, Past President

Cathy Smith, Past President, PAR, Inc.

Christine “Chris” Smith, St. Cyr & Associates

Doug Tuttle, Past President, Seacoast Bank

Linda Washington, Coca-Cola

Beverly White, All Generations Law

 

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Home is where the heart is.

“She’s my constant companion.” Thomas is referring to Lucy, his 8 year old furry friend, who can be found right by his side most of the time. 

Thomas has been in his home for nearly 30 years, the home where he raised his children and the home where his wife did all of the cooking when they were married. After the divorce, he managed just fine living on his own– until he was diagnosed with diabetes and arthritis.

The side effects of both drained his energy and made him unsteady on his feet. Even simple tasks became difficult.  Driving to the store to get food for himself, and Lucy too, became dangerous.

It was then Thomas realized he needed some help. He remembered his mother used to receive Meals On Wheels so he decided to give it a try.

Today, Thomas is nourished, happy, and safe in his home with Lucy. He is forever grateful for the wonderful volunteers who bring him a hot meal and a friendly smile each day.  Even Lucy receives pet food delivered once a month by volunteers through the Animeals program.

“It’s a wonderful thing I tell ya’, you all have helped me and Lucy so much. You are the reason we are still here, healthy and happy, in our home. I am forever grateful to you all.”

This community has helped serve hundreds of homebound and seniors just like Thomas every day.  All of them have an intense desire to remain living in their own home rather than face other alternatives. Many have no family or friends to help them. And for some, the MOW volunteers are their family.

Thank you for your continued support of Meals On Wheels of Tampa. Allowing us to help nourish, enrich and strengthen our elderly, disabled and at-home neighbors, like Thomas.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


Final produce delivery of the year: Volunteers give SAT AM to bring fresh fruits/veggies to Tampa’s elderly, disabled and at-home neighbors

TAMPA, FL, (October 15) – On Saturday, October 15, over 100 community volunteers, businesses and groups will participate in Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s Produce On Wheels (POW) program, in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, to increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce.  Dedicated volunteers will give their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver pre-packed bags of fresh produce to 650 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) tomorrow morning, Saturday, October 15.  Produce bags are free of charge to HDM recipients.

Groups that will help deliver produce on Saturday morning include the Humana, Tampa Covenant Church and the Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors. In response to this program, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has developed partnerships with the following groups: Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, Sanwa Farmer’s Market, Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, University of Florida Extension Office, Next Stop Produce, and others. Their generous contributions have enhanced this month’s delivery.

This monthly event is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa whose mission is to nourish, enrich, and strengthen the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa.  POW was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients last year.

“Thank you so much for the bag of fresh produce! This is such a blessing because I can no longer shop for fresh food. Many thanks to all who helped with this program, it is wonderful! Especially the volunteers who came to see me on a Saturday-what a treat!” said Delores, HDM recipient on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program.

In addition to increasing access to produce, this opportunity has increased volunteer opportunities for those who may not be available to deliver meals during the week.

Recipients also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety.  Feedback was recently collected from recipients and volunteers to assist in the evaluation of the program to continue to improve its impact on senior nutrition. Professor Lauri Wright from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health assisted Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of the POW program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound. Pre-test, Post-test, and Process evaluation surveys have been completed; impact results will be announced in May.

Future POW/Saturday delivery dates are: Thursday, November 24 and Saturday, December 15. www.mowtampa.org/volunteer/volunteerneed

Meals On Wheels of Tampa is currently looking for funding to expand the program.

Interested in delivering POW!? Sign up by visiting www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.

 If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.

 MEDIA: If you would like to follow a volunteer on their route to get footage of seniors accepting bag at their front door, please call LAUREN (813) 238-8410 or (847) 529-8628.  Best time for Media Coverage:  9:30 AM -10:30 AM at Meals On Wheels of Tampa office, 550 W. Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33603

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Meals On Wheels of Tampa Welcomes Newest Board Member

TAMPA, FL, Monday, September 26, 2016 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa elected a new board member, Christine (“Chris”) Smith, this month.

Chris, Realtor for Tomlin St. Cyr & Associates, was appointed in August, for terms ending in 2019.

Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America with an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). Previously, Chris was Manager, Public Affairs for The Mosaic Company, the world’s leading producer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two of the primary ingredients needed to grow food the world needs. She retired from Mosaic in July 2015 after 23 years of service with the company. Today, Chris is a Realtor for Tomlin St. Cyr & Associates, focused on residential sales in the Greater Tampa Bay area, specifically in Eastern Hillsborough County and the South Shore area.

Chris graduated from Leadership Tampa 2000 and was class chair of Leadership 2005. She has served as board chair of Feeding Tampa Bay, The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce, and League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County. Chris is a current member of The Tiger Bay Club of Tampa Bay, Florida Native Plant Society, Valrico FishHawk Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Tampa Alumni. She was the recipient of the 2004 Employee of the Year award at Mosaic, and also received the Excellence in Leadership award from the Propeller Club of Tampa Bay in the same year. Chris is married to Bill Martinson has two children and three grandchildren.

“As Meals On Wheels of Tampa sharpens our focus on improving the health and independent lives of the seniors and homebound in our community, we are excited to welcome the addition of Mrs. Chris Smith to the Board of Directors!” said Steve King, Executive Director of MOWTampa. “Her passion for our mission, along with her experience in the business world and expertise in working with non-profits, will be extremely helpful as we move forward to increase our impact serving the elderly, disabled and homebound in our community.”

The Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors include:

Dennis Pitocco, President, BIZCATALYST 360°

Wilda Isabel, Vice President, Fifth Third Bank

Fred Wallrapp, Treasurer, Tribute Telecom

Jana Boehmer, AssistantTreasurer, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital

Kathy Ritchie, Secretary, Rieth & Ritchie, P.A

 

Mary Alvarez, Community Volunteer

Jack Amor, TECO

Michelle Backlund, Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, Inc.

Doreen Greco Ide, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Dolores McIntosh Community Volunteer

Holly O’Brien, Wiliam E Hahn, P.A.

Ed O’Carroll, Past President, Gulfshore Bank

Laura Sherman, BKS Partners

Amy Shimberg, Past President

Cathy Smith, Past President, PAR, Inc.

Christine “Chris” Smith, St. Cyr & Associates

Doug Tuttle, Past President, Seacoast Bank

Linda Washington, Coca-Cola

Beverly White, All Generations Law

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Alumna Lauren Vance Fills Bellies And Hearts Through Meals on Wheels

If you heard USF’s College of Public Health alumna Lauren Vance singing to herself about rice and beans as she packs her car, you might think she’s a little too excited for lunch.

But to the hundreds of community members who receive a hot meal daily through Meals on Wheels of Tampa, Vance’s passion and enthusiasm not only keeps them fed, but visits from her and other community volunteers are also keeping them company.

“They’re no longer able to get out and do the things they once could do,” Vance said. “So we go visiting, and we bring them the meal they need.”

Currently, with the help of about 360 volunteers, Meals on Wheels of Tampa serves 700 seniors and homebound individuals daily in the Tampa area.

Vance first learned about Meals on Wheels when her grandmother began receiving meals back home.

“I’m from Illinois, and my grandmother lived about an hour away in Indiana, and she finally got to the point where she couldn’t cook anymore,” she said. “She couldn’t stand for long periods of time, and going up and down stairs was difficult.”

Meals on Wheels provided meal solutions for both her grandmother and her aunt, who had moved in as caretaker.

“She received Meals on Wheels for the last six years of her life, and loved it—just loved it,” she said. “Those volunteers coming every day to see her were the highlight of her day.”

In 2012, Vance moved to Tampa to pursue her MPH at USF. When she arrived, she knew no one.

“I spent summers, because my load was a little lighter, delivering meals, because I wanted to feel close to my family,” she said. “That was my way of connecting with this community and feeling like I belonged and finding people I could connect with.”

Vance presenting

Lauren Vance presenting research from special project titled, “The Impact of a Home-Delivered Meal Program on Nutritional Risk, Dietary Intake, Food Security, Loneliness, and Social Well-Being” at the Florida Public Health Association annual meeting in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Vance)

 

Vance was able to use her relationship with the organization to complete her special project towards her degree, under the guidance of nutritionist and registered dietician Dr. Lauri Wright from USF. The study measured the impact of Meals on Wheels of Tampa in terms of nutrition, hunger, food security, and loneliness and well-being. It’s been published and presented, and other programs are able to learn from it.The real-life application of her work at USF is something that Vance is incredibly appreciative of.

“They’re front-line and hands-on,” she said. “And that’s so important.”

Vance was originally drawn to USF because of its master’s international program, which combines a master’s degree with the Peace Corps. Once she arrived, however, she decided that the best use of her energy would be to give back to the community right here.

“Having a career with Meals on Wheels—it became my dream,” she said. “I just knew I wanted to help people and wanted to work for a not-for-profit on the community level.”

Vance says that seeing the direct impact on the community every day is what inspires her. She recalls one woman, who had bright eyes and spunky short hair, who would always kiss her on the cheeks and thank God when she’d arrive to deliver her meal.

“Those are the moments you don’t forget,” Vance said. “When there are tears in someone’s eyes because you brought them a meal, I mean, it’s powerful stuff.”

Now, instead of the word volunteer next to her name, Vance is director of communications for Meals on Wheels of Tampa, a position she’s held since graduating with her MPH in 2014.

“My degree gave me, truly, the tools I needed to be able to function here every day,” she said. “I learned how to develop programs, work with community partners, learn about assets in the community and, to not replicate or duplicate, but to build on what’s already been created.”

thumbnail_Nutrition class bull symbol

Lauren Vance (far left) with volunteers from the COPH and executive director of Meals on Wheels of Tampa Steve King. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Vance)

As for the future, Vance says that she just hopes to keep growing with the agency and to serve more people in the community. She’s left the future open-ended, and she said that another degree or maybe even teaching at the university level, as well as continuing with her current research and program development, are all things she’s considering.

“I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” she said. “And I’ll be happy.”

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the USF College Of Public Healh News

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.

Here is a story of a neighbor you fed. You helped to save her life.

You are part of my family now-01-01

Last summer, Lillian was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  Suddenly, everything changed.  Lillian recalled the whole time she was undergoing chemotherapy, she was ravenously hungry.  She would sit alone, hooked up to chemo for six hours at a time, and then return to her home with nothing to eat.  She was wasting away and at the end of her rope; her weight dropped to 97 pounds from a normal weight of 125.

Lillian couldn’t drive anymore and her neighborhood does not have grocery stores nearby.  Her energy was low.  She was in a dangerous condition as she battled to regain her health.

A social worker told Lillian about Meals On Wheels.  She called the office and started to receive meals the very next day. 

“You literally saved my life.  The food is terrific.  I inhale every bite.  I cannot tell you how much it means to have the meals and even the produce you bring to me.”

Lillian is regaining her strength and says her “brain is happy!” 

“What you do is a blessing.  I have to tell you, the volunteers, the staff, everybody is just outstanding.  You are a part of my family now, you are.  Thank you!”

Thank you, donors, volunteers and supporters for helping Lillian and so many others!

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


Zucchini & Chocolate

Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Is it a squash? Is it Italian? Here’s what we’ll tell you first: It certainly is used for baking! April 25 was national zucchini bread day and May 1 kicks off the start of zucchini season. Yes, this chameleon we see a lot of in the produce section here in Florida has its very own day. At Meals On Wheels, our Produce On Wheels (POW) recipients are likely to receive Bag of producezucchinis this summer in their free produce bag, as it’s in season.

We’d like to lay out the zucchini facts for you with the assistance of Wikipedia and Spices Inc. Zucchini is a summer squash which can reach almost a meter in length, but is usually harvested at half that size or less. Along with other squashes and pumpkins, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. Zucchini can be dark or light green; and the golden zucchini, is a deep yellow or orange color.

In a culinary context and how chefs cook it, zucchini is treated as a vegetable.  It is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, zucchinis are fruits, a type of botanical berry, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.

History lesson: Zucchini, like all squash, has its ancestry in the Americas. However, the varieties of squash typically called “zucchini” were developed in Italy (the ones we enjoy today), many generations after their introduction from the Americas.

French chef Gui Alinat of Piquant Artisan Caterers here in Tampa Bay wanted us to share his healthy, flourless and sweet zucchini bread cake recipe that includes what else but chocolate. How French, No?

Why limit this fruity vegetable to savory when it obviously doesn’t limit itself?

“When you grow up, like me, around the Mediterranean Sea, you know zucchini. In fact, you know too much!” said Gui.  As summer approaches and weather gets really warm and sunny, all Mediterranean vegetables blossom all at once and become plentiful. And when they come, they come he said.

“They pop up everywhere. Families cook them en masse, and they appear in various ways, often twice or three times in the same menu. Fried zucchini fritters, zucchini in ratatouille, in minestrone, zucchini bread, and zucchini au gratin.”

In celebration of variety, please enjoy this healthy, flourless and sweet zucchini chocolate bread cake that will certainly leave you saying Merci!

FLOURLESS ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE BREAD CAKEzucchini bread

Active time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup of 70-85% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

1 cup of almond butter

3 zucchini, shredded in a food processor

1/3 cup of pure maple syrup

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Pour into a greased baking pan.
  2. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the brownie comes out clean.

Quick tip: Variations in oven temperatures occur. Rely on your senses. We want a beautiful, bubbly, golden and crusty top. Monitor the look of your casserole to perfection.

10-minute time saver:

Use your oven’s convection setting, if you have one. It cooks 20% faster and saves your precious time and money on your electrical bill. Adapt the cooking time accordingly when you use this chef’s secret.

Options: To add variety, replace some of the zucchini with eggplant or yellow squash. Add garlic, cayenne, and fresh herbs such as basil, lots of it, to spice things up a bit.

To learn more Chef Gui Alinat and his books, please visit www.chefgui.com.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


Celebrating Earth Day can be as simple as…

Celebrating Earth Day can be as simple as supporting your local fresh farmers’ markets. This year, Earth Day falls on April 22, 2016. All around the world, communities are hosting events to celebrate the day where we all make a conscious effort to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations. Meals On Wheels of Tampa will be celebrating with the community at the 7th Annual EcoFest on Saturday, April 23rd at the Lowry Park bandshell.

Volunteer and garden master, Kitty, checks in with 4 garden Earthbox Initiative pilot program recipients on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program each month.

Volunteer and garden master, Kitty, checks in with 4 garden Earthbox Initiative pilot program recipients on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program each month.

Supporting your local famers’ markets by buying locally grown fruits and veggies is one small, but big, step in cultivating a healthy food system. Here are some top reasons why you should celebrate Earth Day by purchasing locally:

One:  In most instances, your fruits and veggies have traveled a lot by the time they make it to your plate: Food in the U.S. travels an average of 15,000 miles before it makes it to your home. Purchasing locally eliminates the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels pollutes our air and adds to packaging waste. Commercial farming and agriculture uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic by-products. Food at the farmers’ market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

Steve King, Executive Director, visits the Meals On Wheels of Tampa community garden at the Sustainable Living Project near Lowry Park.

Steve King, Executive Director, visits the Meals On Wheels of Tampa community garden at the Sustainable Living Project.

Two:  Eat Seasonal. The food you buy at the farmers’ market is seasonal. It is fresh and reflects the truest flavors our earth can provide. Shopping and cooking from the farmers’ market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, sweet corn in summer, or pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year. Perks and benefits: Eating seasonally helps you save money on food. When you buy what’s in season, you buy food that’s at the peak of its supply, and costs less to farmers. And the best reason of all is that you get the best tasting, healthiest food available. The same reasons that keep the cost of seasonal food down also drive its quality up!

Three: Help your local growers. Earth Day is about give and take. The Earth is our home and gives us so much. We in turn, should do something for it: protect it. In the spirit of this give and take, let’s support our local growers. Through your support, we give local growers a fighting chance to compete with large agribusiness that dominates food production in the U.S. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

2016_POW with MOWTAMPA LOGO

So as you can see, you don’t need to put on your tie-dye shirt, and go outside barefoot to hug a tree this Earth Day (unless you really want to). Visit Tampa Bay Markets to see a list of local markets, and then go shopping! You’ll keep yourself and your environment healthy, and improve your local farmers’ economy. Stay healthy, be healthy, share healthy.

You can also support Meals On Wheels of Tampa by volunteering to deliver Hurricane Preparedness Packs on Sat. May 21st or fresh fruits and veggies

through the Produce On Wheels program. The goal of POW is to increase senior and homebound meal recipients’ access to fresh produce.

The program is free of charge to its recipients. The next POW delivery will take place Sat., June 18.

Do you need a hot meal delivered to your home? Do you know someone that does? Please visit www.mowtampa.org/programs/mealservice.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


Community gives up Saturday morning to deliver fresh produce to Tampa’s homebound neighbors

TAMPA, FL, (April 16) – On Saturday, April 16, over 100 community volunteers, businesses and groups will participate in Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s Produce On Wheels (POW) program, in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, to increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce.  Dedicated volunteers give their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver pre-packed bags of fresh produce to 700 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) tomorrow morning, Saturday, April 16.  Produce bags are free of charge to HDM recipients.

Groups helping to deliver produce on Saturday morning include the USF Alpha Phi Omega, USF College of Public Health, Suncoast Credit Union, and Temple Terrace Women’s Club. In response to this program, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has developed partnerships with the following groups: Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, University of Florida Extension Office, Next Stop Produce, and others.

This monthly event is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa whose mission is to nourish, enrich, and strengthen the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa.  POW was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients last year.

“Thank you so much for the bag of fresh produce! This is such a blessing because I can no longer shop for fresh food. Many thanks to all who helped with this program, it is wonderful! Especially the volunteers who came to see me on a Saturday-what a treat!” said Delores, HDM recipient on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program.

In addition to increasing access to produce, this opportunity has increased volunteer opportunities for those who may not be available to deliver meals during the week.

Recipients also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety.  Feedback will also be collected from recipients and volunteers to evaluate the program launch to continue to improve the program. Professor Lauri Wright from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health will assist Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of the POW program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound. Pre-test, Post-test, and Process evaluation surveys have been completed; impact results will be announced in May.

Future POW/Saturday delivery dates are: May 21st (NO POW, Hurricane Prep Packs are delivered), June 18th , and July 16th .  Meals On Wheels of Tampa hopes to expand the program later this year.

Interested in delivering POW!? Sign up by visiting www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow or call (813) 238-8410.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Safety Tips for People with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia can impact safety in several ways, affecting judgement, orientation (your sense of time and place), behavior, physical ability, and senses. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may get lost on their own street, forgetting which house is theirs and what their street number is. They may forget how to use ordinary household appliances, or they may have trouble with balance or experience changes in sensory perception.

Despite these concerns, people with Alzheimer’s disease can live safely with proper precautions. As the Alzheimer’s Association explains, “With creativity and flexibility, you can create a home that is both safe and supportive of the person’s needs for social interaction and meaningful activity.”

hand turning door handleThe Zone Method for Home Safety for Alzheimer’s Sufferers

Some experts recommend dividing the home into “zones” by setting boundaries, including:

  • Danger zones – areas that are either hazardous to access or contain unsafe items
  • Respite zones – areas where the caregiver can relax and have a few moments of privacy
  • Safe zones – areas that are carefully set up to provide a safe atmosphere for the individual suffering from Alzheimer’s disease

By setting boundaries between these zones, you can ensure that there are areas of your home where your loved one can safely go about his day without worrying about potential dangers.

Remove Outdoor Safety Hazards

Wandering is a concern with some Alzheimer’s sufferers, so it’s not uncommon for someone with Alzheimer’s disease to head outside and wander around the property, or worse, beyond. Installing a fence can help to keep your loved one from exiting the property and wandering into unfamiliar territory.

There are some common dangers that should be addressed outside your home beyond preventing your loved one from leaving the property, as well. For instance, locking up grill lighters, matches, and lighter fluid and potentially hazardous chemicals will prevent a person with Alzheimer’s disease from accidentally harming themselves. You should also take precautions with pools and hot tubs, such as installing a sturdy, locked fence and/or covers that cannot be easily removed.

Secure pets.

Pets are absolutely great for our health, but if your loved one’s dog, for example, is a little on the hyper side he could become a fall hazard. It may also become more difficult for your loved one to care for their pet as their Alzheimer’s advances. Fortunately, there are many great care options, especially for dogs, these days so that your loved one won’t have to give up their four-legged pal. For example, you might look into hiring a local pet sitter or dog walker. They can come play with your loved one’s dog or take the furry friend for a walk. That way the animal will get the exercise they need so that they’ll be more obedient in your loved one’s home.

Take Precautionary Measures to Avoid Falls

As balance is sometimes an issue for Alzheimer’s sufferers, implementing home safety measures to help prevent falls is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your loved one’s safety. There are a variety of ways to help reduce falls in the home, such as reducing clutter, eliminating throw rugs and ensuring that cords are not stretched across common walkways or hallways, and making sure the home has adequate lighting.

Of course, fall prevention means not only addressing the environment, but the body, as well. Encouraging your loved one to participate in light exercise (only if their physician approves), such as going for a swim, making sure they get regular eye exams and have the right prescription for corrective lenses, and keeping a watchful eye following the use of medications that may cause dizziness or drowsiness can also help you play an important role in keeping your loved one safe.

Anticipate Risks and Hazards, and Adapt Accordingly

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, your loved one’s symptoms may change. Caregivers who know their loved ones best may be able to anticipate potential risks and hazards in the home that were previously safe.

Being able to adapt and make safety modifications in the home is one of the most important roles a primary caregiver can play in keeping an Alzheimer’s sufferer safe. By gradually implementing safety precautions over time, caregivers allow those with Alzheimer’s disease to remain independent and participate in activities they enjoy as long as possible.

Of course, there may come a time when you can no longer care for your loved one on your own. Know that that’s ok. There are many care options—from home care to assisted living to nursing homes—that can help you provide the care your loved one needs.

With the right safety measures in place, people with Alzheimer’s disease can enjoy their normal lives and continue residing in their own homes safely. Caregivers, together with physicians and other professionals, such as occupational therapists, can devise effective plans that create a safe home environment for many people living with Alzheimer’s.

Marie Villeza was inspired to start ElderImpact.org after she watched her son teach her father how to play Angry Birds™ on his smartphone. In that moment, she realized the importance of bringing the generations together so they can usher each other into the future, breaking down walls of fear and time. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, and taking part in her monthly book club.

**Photo Credit: Image via Pixabay by bohed**

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


Cooking Meals to Keep the Nutrients

Nutritious meals

Fresh ingredients are used to prepare nutritious meals, 365 days a year.

It seems that these days everyone is telling us how to eat to be healthy. Eat this, don’t eat that, this food is now linked to this, and this can happen if you eat too much of that. But it is important to take time to understand the value of the meals you consume, especially in terms of the power of nutritious food on your health and well being.

It can really be overwhelming and easy to get swept up in the powerful tides of experts on health. Everyone has an idea on what to feed our bodies: Anyone from Dr. Oz to your mom, and even the government (yes, even the government – visit health.gov for the 8th Edition of the Dietary Guidelines 2015- 2020).

In honor of national nutrition month, I’d like to share how simple it is to create your own nutritious meals, with all of the good nutrients, and tell you how Meals On Wheels of Tampa provides complete meals to over 700 recipients in the Tampa Bay area every day. I asked my friend and peer, Chef Felicia LaCalle of HealthE Gourmet in Tampa to share easy ways to get the most nutrients from your meals when cooking.

Daily hot meals.

Meals On Wheels of Tampa volunteers deliver 700 hot meals, fresh, every day.

Chef LaCalle says the most important food group to start with, and the one that we can maximize retaining

nutrients from, are our vegetables. She recommends steaming, sautéing or blanching your veggies. How do you know which to steam and which to blanch? She says that typically you want to blanch your green and more fibrous veggies such as green beans, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots to name a few. For softer ones like squash or eggplant, she recommends a quick sauté with olive oil.

How to blanch vegetables: Bring seasoned water to a boil. Depending on the vegetable, you can boil from 25 minutes to 50 seconds. For green beans and more tender veggies, 25- 30 seconds should do the trick; and for more fibrous and thicker veggies, 45- 50 seconds should be enough. Then strain your veggies and dump them in a bowl of ice water to “shock” them. Just a quick dunk will do. Chef LaCalle explains that the blanching process retains the nutrients and vibrancy of your veggies. It also cooks them and keeps them crispy. A last detail is that they won’t turn brown when re-heating for dinner or lunch the next day.

As far as proteins and carbohydrates, Chef LaCalle says that cooking technique really doesn’t change or deplete nutrient levels. It’s all really a matter of preference, so if you like your meats grilled or charred, you’re still getting the same nutrient content. However, always remember that how you cook and prepare your proteins and carbohydrates do make a big difference as to how healthy your meal is: Grilled as opposed to fried, and heavy butter or cream as opposed to lemon or olive oil.

MOWTampa nutrition information.

Visit www.mowtampa.org/programs/mealservice for nutrition information.

An easy way to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need: Chef LaCalle says that just by seeing varying colors on your plate is a good indication. The nutrients are in the colors! Also, you can obtain important and necessary nutrients by varying your diet. Switching it up allows you access to all the great nutrients nature has to offer.

Meals On Wheels of Tampa provides the variety, portion, and nutrient-rich meals that not only feed Tampa’s senior and

homebound neighbors, but enrich their lives as well. To see how they switch-up their menu with 30 day revolving meal offerings, please visit their site under Programs and Meal Service: www.MOWTampa.org/programs/mealservice. To see their nutritional information, click here.

In need of meal service or know some one that does? Please visit www.mowtampa.org/programs/mealservice.

 

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


Produce On Wheels: Produce on the Rise, but still in the Budget

Meals On Wheels of Tampa is keeping the goodness rolling in March which is National Nutrition Month. And how appropriate for me to share with you more about Produce On Wheels (POW), as well as tips on how to shop for produce on a budget.

Access and excitement over produce has increased over the years and with changing weather patterns. We always knew that eating our veggies and fruits were good for us, but as a society, we are really starting to move away from processed foods. Schools are starting to offer salad bars and there are more whole and all-natural food stores around the country than ever before.

produce

Meals On Wheels of Tampa POW volunteers delivered this bag to 700 seniors and homebound in February.

Produce cost has always been a barrier to consumption and I often hear complaints that produce is simply too expensive. It’s unfortunate that the price of fresh fruits and vegetables keeps us from eating as healthy as possible. This is why I wanted to share with you some cost-saving suggestions from Lori Taylor, better known as The Produce Mom. Here are her top five tips:

  • Buy in-season produce
  • Buy in bulk and freeze
  • Look for and buy discounted produce- don’t be afraid to try the ‘ugly’ or ‘blemished’ produce
  • Prep the produce yourself instead of buying sliced
  • Shop sales and plan your meals

Meals On Wheels of Tampa recently developed Produce On Wheels (POW), a program developed to increase their senior and homebound program recipients’ access to fresh produce, free of charge.  The organization has partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay to purchase the produce for the POW program. In February, they purchased romaine lettuce, oranges, carrots, and tomatoes; and Feeding Tampa Bay then donated bell peppers.  Feedback has been overwhelming from the recipients, as they are excited to have a healthy fruit snack option or make a salad with the veggies provided, in addition to their regular hot meal delivery. The program has also been of value to their recipients and volunteers as it allows a weekend opportunity for social connection and volunteerism.

Meals On Wheels of Tampa hopes to expand the program to delivering POW twice a month, pending additional funding. For now, volunteers deliver bags of fresh produce on the third Saturday of every month, and the next deliveries are scheduled for March 19, April 16, June 18, and July 16.

To sign up to volunteer to deliver POW, please visit www.mowtampa.org/programs/pow.

For more information on Lori Taylor, The Produce Mom, please visit www.theproducemom.com

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

 

 

 

 

Tampa Prep Senior Class & Staff Deliver 100+ Hot Meals to Seniors and Homebound on Terrapin Day of Service

TAMPA, FL, Thursday, February 18, 2016 – Students from the senior class and staff from Tampa Preparatory School will deliver 10 routes, totaling over 100 meals, to Tampa’s senior and homebound neighbors for the School’s annual day of giving back, Terrapin Day, on Thursday, February 18.

Students from the senior class will spend the day volunteering at Meals On Wheels, as well as The Sweetwater Organic Farm and St. Peter Claver School. Seniors taking part in Meals On Wheels will deliver over 100 meals around the Tampa Bay area. After the 10 routes are delivered, students will spend time learning about the Meals On Wheels mission and helping put together Volunteer Orientation Packs.

Tampa Preparatory School’s mission is “to live a higher purpose than self.” This is accomplished by allowing students the opportunity to volunteer in their community on Terrapin Day of Service. For the past nine years, the school has also been a partner to Meals On Wheels of Tampa as an Adopt-A-Route partner, which means their staff and students take turns delivering the same route, every week.

“We are so excited to have the students from Tampa Prep assist in meal delivery- it just makes our recipients day! They love seeing the kids when they open their front door, and of course their smiling faces!” said Jan Costello, Recipient Coordinator. For many on the program, the Meals On Wheels volunteer is the only person the recipients may interact with all day.

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Please visit www.MOWTampa.org/volunteer or call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.

About Tampa Preparatory School:

Tampa Preparatory School is leading the way in education with a focus on what’s best for students. Tampa Preparatory School’s independent, coeducational college prep school enrolls approximately 650 students in grades 6 – 12. For more than 40 years, their educational philosophy has instilled values of fairness, decency, honor, diligence and academic curiosity. Students receive unparalleled instruction from caring teachers at the school’s 150,000 square-foot complex located in the heart of downtown Tampa.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Meals On Wheels of Tampa Welcomes Newest Board Member

TAMPA, FL, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa welcomed its newest board member, Linda Washington, this past month.

Linda Washington, HR Benefits Supervisor for Coca-Cola Refreshments and President of the Progress Village Civic Council, was appointed in December, for terms ending in 2019.

“I’m truly excited about having Linda join our Board! Her heart for helping others, combined with her many professional skills, makes her a wonderful fit as she helps to lead our mission. Best of all, she has a sincere passion for the homebound, elderly, and disabled of our community!” Steve King, Executive Director.

 

The Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors include:

Dennis Pitocco, President, BIZCATALYST 360°

Wilda Isabel, Vice President, Fifth Third Bank

Fred Wallrapp, Treasurer, Tribute Telecom

Robert B. Gough III, Secretary, Hill Ward Henderson

Veronica Alfaro, 99.5 QYK

Mary Alvarez, Community Volunteer

Jack Amor, TECO

Michelle Backlund, Argus Dental & Vision, Inc.

Jana Boehmer, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital

Jo Deck Community Volunteer

Doreen Greco Ide, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Dolores McIntosh Community Volunteer

Holly O’Brien, Wiliam E Hahn, P.A.

Ed O’Carroll, Past President, Gulfshore Bank

Kathy Ritchie, Rieth & Ritchie, P.A

Laura Sherman, BKS Partners

Amy Shimberg, Past President

Cathy Smith, Past President, PAR, Inc.

Doug Tuttle, Past President, American Momentum Bank

Linda Washington, Coca-Cola

Beverly White, All Generations Law

 

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Please visit http://www.MOWTampa.orgor call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Spreading Sunshine Teaching Kindness to Kids

I have a dear friend, Rachel, who is the kindest, friendliest soul I’ve ever known. Friends describe her as sunshine, and appropriately, she loves sunflowers, which are almost as bright and beautiful as her kind heart.  Rachel recently got engaged, and at hKids art greetingser engagement party, I was asked what part of Rachel’s personality I looked forward to seeing her pass on to her future children. Without a second thought, I said her heart for others. She cares for people in a way that is so rare today and I can’t wait for her and her fiancé to have kids because we need more kind people like Rachel in the world.

As I thought about my own young son and how I want him to grow up to be a gentleman who is kind to everyone he meets, I made a resolution to find ways to be more like Rachel, to show kindness to others daily. I want to be a good example for my son and teach him to care for others. Here are five ideas I’ve come up with that are easy ways for parents to teach their children to be good neighbors through simple acts of kindness:


  1. Share your baked goods. Any time you’re baking with your kids at home, double your recipe. Take half of the treats and have your children give them away – to friends, neighbors, your local fire station, etc.
  2. Send handwritten cards to friends and loved ones. With email and social media at the center of our lives today, few people still take the time to mail handwritten notes to people they’re thinking of, or people who are going through difficult times. Have your children turn their artwork into greeting cards to show them how a simple gesture can really brighten someone’s day. 

    Volunteers of all ages deliver kindness with Meals on Wheels. Photo courtesy of Meals on Wheels of Tampa.

    Volunteers of all ages deliver kindness with Meals on Wheels. Photo courtesy of Meals on Wheels of Tampa.

  3. Hold doors for strangers. As we hurry through our lives, we tend to forget about thissimple courtesy. It only takes a second to show someone that they’re worth a moment of your time.
  4. Encourage your kids to donate some of their toys to children in need. This is a great thing to do to participate in holiday toy drives for organizations like Metropolitan Ministries, Toys for Tots and Samaritan’s Purse. Bring your children with you to the place where you’re making the donation so they can see their gifts in action.
  5. Visit an elderly neighbor. Even better, dedicate an hour each week to deliver Meals on Wheels with your kids. Meals On Wheels of Tampa volunteers deliver meals to the homebound, disabled and elderly in the Tampa community. In addition to enjoying hot meals that nourish their bodies, the recipients appreciate a smiling face to brighten their often lonely days.  And the smiling face of a child can really help lift their spirits.

With flexibility in what routes you can take, where you pick up meals and how often you deliver, volunteering for an hour or so a week with Meals on Wheels can fit into busy families’ schedules. The organization is in great need of volunteers with many routes open at the start of 2016, so I know my son and I will put our time to good use by driving a route in Lutz each week.

Want more ideas for volunteering as a family? Check out VolunteerMatch.org to find local volunteer opportunities that fit your family’s interests.

How will your family make showing kindness part of your routine this year?

Go out and spread some sunshine! Because #KindnessMatters.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels: Miles of Smiles Delivered

Meals On Wheels: Miles of Smiles Delivered

Not long ago, we at Meals On Wheels of Tampa celebrated our 40th Anniversary – a remarkable achievement indeed, for an organization privately-funded from day one. What better time than now to take a “walk down memory lane” – sharing not only the highlights of our story, but also the history of Meals on Wheels as a global program?

Meals on Wheels Across America

Meals on Wheels operates in virtually every community in America through a network of more than 5,000 independently-run local programs, supported by over two million volunteers. While the diversity of each program’s services and operations may vary based on the needs and resources of their communities, all committed to delivering nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s homebound to live nourished lives with independence and dignity.

Meals on Wheels History

This photograph depicts members of a London WVS centre, in 1947, loading pails containing individually portioned Meals on Wheels onto a delivery van. Source: Royal Voluntary Service

This photograph depicts members of a London WVS centre, in 1947, loading pails containing individually portioned Meals on Wheels onto a delivery van. Source: Royal Voluntary Service

The first ever Meals on Wheels began in 1940 in the United Kingdom during “the Blitz” when thousands of people had lost their homes and had no way of cooking meals for their families. So the Women’s Volunteer Service (WVS) for Civil Defense of Great Britain (now known as the Royal Voluntary Service) started preparing and delivering meals to those in need. The first home delivery of a meal was made by the WVS in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England in 1943.

These volunteer women also delivered refreshments on carts or “canteens” to soldiers and these canteens soon became known as “Meals on Wheels,” giving the nutritional program its name and providing a legacy of care that continues to this day in communities around the world. Today, there are Meals on Wheels programs in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The first ever home-delivered meal program in the United States began in Philadelphia in January 1954. A social worker pioneered a program to provide nourishment that met the dietary needs of homebound seniors and other “shut-ins” in the area who otherwise would have to go hungry. Most of the volunteers were high school students, who were dubbed “Platter Angels.” The “Platter Angels” would prepare, package, and deliver food to the elderly and disabled through their community. The daily delivery consisted of one nutritionally balanced hot meal to eat at lunchtime, and a dinner consisting of a cold sandwich and milk along with varying side dishes.

Meal On Wheels of Tampa

Meals On Wheels of Tampa was founded by Gloria Fuentes, a Tampa resident experiencing difficulty when caring for her two homebound relatives who lived on opposite sides of the city. Recognizing the need to assist not only her family, but also others who wanted to remain independent in the security of their own homes, she formed a committee of pastors and church members throughout Tampa to help organize the effort.

On March 17, 1975, Meals On Wheels of Tampa began with a group of dedicated volunteers who cooked meals in the recreation hall of a local United Methodist Church and delivered 14 meals to people who were homebound. The number of those in need of the meals provided by Meals On Wheels has steadily increased over the years.

Our Home Since 1974

Our Home Since 1994

In 1993, after 17 years of helping people from the kitchens and offices of neighboring organizations throughout the community, Meals on Wheels purchased the building at 550 W. Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa to house its Administrative Offices and Kitchen.

In 2006, as a result of a capital campaign, a major kitchen renovation was completed. The renovation began after an extensive strategic planning process focusing on growth while maintaining the grassroots, personal touch, care, and compassion that is synonymous with Meals On Wheels of Tampa.  The new commercial grade kitchen enabled the mission to reach more people in need of food.

Now, after years of faithful volunteer and community support, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves approximately 700 meals per day to our homebound neighbors. Creative planning and generous donations from the community has made it possible for Tampa’s homebound individuals and seniors to receive the help they need. Believe it or not, our remarkable Drivers will this year cover just about the equivalent distance of a trip to the moon – while nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors!

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.

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Meals On Wheels of Tampa and Feeding Tampa Bay to Deliver Free Produce to 700 Homebound on Saturday

TAMPA, FL, Saturday, January 16, 2016 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa launches for the second time ever, a new program, Produce On Wheels (POW), in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, to increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce. Over 100 individuals, businesses and community groups will volunteer their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver pre-packed bags of fresh produce to 700 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) tomorrow morning, Saturday, January 16th.  Produce bags are free of charge to HDM recipients.

Groups helping to deliver produce on Saturday morning include the USF College of Public Health, Suncoast Credit Union, BJ’s New Tampa, Temple Terrace Women’s Club. In response to this program, partnerships have developed with the following groups: Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, University of Florida Extension Office, Next Stop Produce, and others.

This is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa whose mission is to nourish, enrich, and strengthen the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa. POW was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients in August.

“Bringing us fresh fruits and vegetables is a blessing. The closest grocery store is over 3 miles away from my house and I can’t drive…even if I got a ride, I can’t stand long enough to shop… so fresh is hard for me to get.  I know I have lived this long because of good health and good nutrition- I am certain that fresh fruits and veggies are the best medicine and have helped kept me alive this long,” said Barbara, HDM recipient.

In addition to increasing access to produce, this opportunity has increased volunteer opportunities for those who may not be available to deliver meals during the week.

Recipients will also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety. Feedback will also be collected from recipients and volunteers to evaluate the program launch so we can continue to improve the program. Professor Lauri Wright from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health will assist Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of this program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound. Pre-test surveys are currently underway; post-test surveys will begin in March.

Future POW/Saturday delivery dates are: February 20th , March 19th, and April 16th. We hope to expand the program later this year.

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Please visit www.MOWTampa.org/volunteer or call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels Volunteers Collect, Sort, Pack & ­­Deliver Holiday Gift Bags to 700 Seniors & Homebound on Super Saturday

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES:

WED. 12/16: Eagle Scout Troop and BJ’s New Tampa will sort donated items. Please arrive at Meals On Wheels of Tampa office, 550 W Hillsborough Ave, at 12:45pm Wednesday, December 16. Volunteers will sort items between 1:00pm-3:00pm.

THURS. 12/17: Staff from the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay will sort donated items. Please arrive at Meals On Wheels of Tampa office, 550 W Hillsborough Ave, at 8:00am Thursday, December 17. Volunteers will sort items between 8:00am-12pm.

 FRI. 12/18: The Meals On Wheels of Tampa Board of Directors, residents from the Canterbury Tower Retirement Community, and staff from the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay will pack donated items. Please arrive at Meals On Wheels of Tampa office, 550 W Hillsborough Ave, at 8:45am Thursday, December 17. Volunteers will sort items between 9:00am-11:00am.

 **SAT. 12/19: Over 100 volunteers and their cars full of families will deliver holiday gift bags. Please arrive at Meals On Wheels of Tampa office, 550 W Hillsborough Ave, at 9:00am Saturday, December 19. Volunteers will pick up pre-packed bags between 9:30-10:30am. Please let Lauren know if you would like to ride along with a volunteer to capture footage of the recipient receiving the gift bag at the front door. Thanks!

TAMPA, FL, Saturday, December 19, 2015 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa) volunteers will sort and pack thousands of donated items Wednesday and Thursday, December 16th and 17th; and 100+ volunteers and their families will deliver over 700 holiday gift bags to senior and homebound meal recipients on the morning of Super Saturday, Saturday, December 19th.

Over 100 community members and families will volunteer their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver holiday bags filled with homemade cards, toiletries, healthy snacks, puzzles and games to homebound neighbors on Saturday morning.  Volunteers will pick up items from MOWTampa between 9:30am-10:30am. Routes will take volunteers about an hour to complete.

The goal of this mission is to let the homebound members of Tampa know they are loved and thought of during the holiday season, and not forgotten.  For most of the 700 recipients this will be the only gift they receive this holiday season. Most of them do not have family or friends near and/or they are unable to leave the house to visit loved ones or shop. This is our way of showing our recipients they are cared for above and beyond a daily meal.

This mission could not have been fulfilled without the hundreds of volunteers, community members, organizations who have come together.  Holiday Gift Bag items were collected in wrapped donation drop boxes by more than 50 groups, including Mosaic, Bank of Tampa, Van Dyke Church and MacFarlane Park Elementary Magnet School. A special thank you to Canterbury Tower for donating the holiday gift tote bags.

“We are humbled by the generosity and support from our community to help fill the holiday gift bags,” stated Jan Costello, Recipient Intake Coordinator, “a value can not be placed on the difference this gift bag will make in our recipients holidays, as most are not going to leave their house or join a gathering with family.”

MOWTampa encourages neighbors to help neighbors this holiday season and not to forget the hidden faces of our homebound.  Stop in and say hello, you may be the only person they see today.

For additional information or to schedule a ride along for Holiday Gift Bag delivery day, please contact Lauren Vance at l.vance@mowtampa.orgoffice (813) 238-8410; or cell (847) 529-8628.­­­

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Meals On Wheels Volunteers Pack & ­­Deliver Flowers, Baked Goods, and More to 700 Homebound on Thanksgiving Morning

TAMPA, FL, Thursday, November 26, 2015 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa) volunteers will pack over 700 bags for recipients on Wednesday, November 25th for delivery on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 26th.

Over 100 community members and families will volunteer their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver bags filled with homemade cards, fresh baked goods, and flowers to homebound neighbors on the morning of Thanksgiving.  Volunteers will pick up items from MOWTampa between 9:30-10:30am. Routes will take volunteers about an hour to complete.

The goal of this mission is to let the homebound members of Tampa know they are loved and thought about during the holiday season, and not forgotten.  For most of the recipients this might be the only person they see over the 4-day holiday weekend.

This mission could not have been fulfilled without the hundreds of volunteers who have come together.  All Thanksgiving morning goodies have been collected from the community, with dozens of contributions from Hillsborough County schools and many faith based organizations. A special thank you to Random Acts of Flowers for providing bud vases for each recipient.

“We appreciate the generosity and support from our community to help fill the gift bags,” stated Steve King, Executive Director, “a value can not be placed on the difference one small act of kindness will make in our recipients holidays.”

MOW encourages neighbors to help neighbors this holiday season and not to forget the hidden faces of our homebound.  Stop in and say hello, you may be the only person they see today.

For additional information or to schedule a ride along for Thanksgiving Morning, please contact Lauren Vance at l.vance@mowtampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 or cell (847) 529-8628

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


Follow Meals On Wheels of Tampa on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | YouTube


 

Meals On Wheels of Tampa and Feeding Tampa Bay to Deliver Free Produce to 700 Homebound on Saturday

TAMPA, FL, Saturday, October 17, 2015 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa launches a new program, Produce On Wheels (POW), in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, to increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce.  Over 100 individuals, businesses and community groups will volunteer their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver pre-packed bags of fresh produce to 700 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) on the morning of Saturday, October 17th.  Produce bags are free of charge to HDM recipients.

Those that will be joining us on Saturday morning include the USF College of Public Health, Suncoast Credit Union, MacDill Air Force Base, and the Girl Scouts. We are thrilled to develop further partnerships with the following groups: Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, University of Florida Extension Office, Next Stop Produce, and others.

This is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa whose mission is to nourish, enrich, and strengthen the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa.  POW was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients in August.

“You bringing us fresh fruits and vegetables is a blessing. The closest grocery store is over 3 miles away from my house and I can’t drive…even if I got a ride, I can’t stand long enough to shop… so fresh is hard for me to get.  I know I have lived this long because of good health and good nutrition- I am certain that fresh fruits and veggies are the best medicine and have helped kept me alive this long,” said Barbara, HDM recipient.

In addition to increasing access to produce, we hope this opportunity increases volunteer opportunities for those who may not be available to deliver meals during the week.

Recipients will also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety.  Feedback will also be collected from recipients and volunteers to evaluate the program launch so we can continue to improve the program. Professor Lauri Wright from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health will assist Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of this program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound. Pre-test surveys are currently underway; post-test surveys will begin in March.

Future POW/Saturday delivery dates are: November 26th (Thanksgiving treat), December 19th (Holiday gift bag), January 16th (Produce), and February 20th (Produce). We hope to expand the program in 2016.

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Please visit www.MOWTampa.org/volunteer or call (813) 238-8410.

If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels of Tampa, Moffitt Cancer Center, Edward Jones Deliver Hurricane Preparedness Packs to Homebound Neighbors

TAMPA, Florida – May 30, 2015 – Meals On Wheels of Tampa, The Moffitt Cancer Center, Edward Jones and many other dedicated volunteers announced they will be delivering special Hurricane Preparedness Packs to the Meals On Wheels of Tampa recipients for the 2015 Hurricane season.

As June approaches we are reminded to prepare for the 2015 hurricane season by our local news stations, grocery stores and businesses.  Many of us have a plan for what we will do when a big storm hits the area.  However, for the homebound and elderly throughout our community, there is no plan.  Because of their inability to drive or move freely, there is no way to gather the supplies they need or to get out of the storm’s path.  Such is the case for many of the recipients served by Meals On Wheels of Tampa every day.

For the past 10 years, MOW Tampa has developed a plan for its recipients in the event that a large storm does hit the Tampa Bay area.  This year, for the first time ever MOW Tampa participated in Give Day Tampa Bay to raise awareness and funds to cover the costs.   Hurricane Preparedness Packs will be delivered to all 650 recipients before the hurricane season begins.  Included in the packs are 5 shelf-stable meals, a gallon of water, and a special-needs shelter application.

“It’s absolutely wonderful that the Tampa community came together on this year’s Give Day Tampa Bay to help us reach our goal to be able to provide the much needed funding for this project.  We are also thrilled that the Moffitt Cancer Center and Edward Jones are helping with the delivery to those we serve.  We hope our recipients will never be faced with using these items during an actual hurricane, but it’s a comfort to know that they will be prepared in the event that a storm does hit our community,” says Steve King, the Executive Director of Meals On Wheels of Tampa.

Meals On Wheels of Tampa would like to thank The Moffitt Cancer Center, Edward Jones members, and the many other committed MOW Tampa volunteers for coming together on Saturday, May 30, to prepare and deliver these packs.  It is a beautiful way of extending a helping hand to those in need in our community.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:

Meals On Wheels of Tampa is committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa.  MOW Tampa has been serving meals to people who have trouble shopping for or preparing meals for the past 40 years.  Today, MOW Tampa serves over 650 people who need a extra support from their neighbors.

About The Moffitt Cancer Center:

The mission of Moffitt Cancer Center is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.  The non-profit agency includes physicians, scientists, researchers and staff who collaborate to transform the lives of thousands of people who have been impacted by cancer.  Moffitt’s efforts have been proven to improve patient outcomes, as well as access, affordability and quality of care.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Hurricane Preparedness Kits- 2014

May 31, 2014- Every spring we are reminded to prepare for Hurricane Season by local news stations, grocery stores, and businesses.  Many of us have a plan for what we will do if a big storm hits the area.  We collect canned goods, water, and stock up on supplies and batteries in the hopes we will be prepared for the next big storm.  For many of the homebound, disabled, and elderly, however, there is no plan.  Because many of them are unable to drive or move freely, they have no way to gather the supplies they need or to leave if we are in the storm’s path.  This is the predicament for most of the recipients served by Meals On Wheels of Tampa.

Over the past eight years, Meals On Wheels has delivered Hurricane Preparedness Kits for each of its 700 recipients in the event that a large storm does hit the Tampa Bay area.  Included in these kits are 5 shelf-stable meals, a gallon jug of water, a special needs shelter application, and other information and brochures provided by Hillsborough County on what actions to take in event of an storm.

On Saturday May 31, between 8am and 10am, over 60 volunteers will gather at Meals On Wheels of Tampa at 550 W Hillsborough Ave to pick up the Hurricane Preparedness Kits (meals, water and information) and deliver them to the almost 700 homebound recipients around the community. Many of these volunteers will bring their family (moms, dads, and children welcome!) to help in the deliveries.

Meals On Wheels of Tampa thanks all of these volunteers who are coming together to prepare and deliver these important Hurricane Preparedness Kits to the homebound, disabled, and elderly of Tampa.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels of Tampa to Host “Mayors For Meals Day” on March 14th

TAMPA, Fla. –  (March 14, 2012) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa announced today that it will be holding “Mayors For Meals Day” as a part of its March For Meals campaign. Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be participating in the event to show his support for our community’s homebound and hungry seniors.

Meals On Wheels of Tampa “Mayors For Meals Day” event on Wednesday, March 14th, will include Mayor Bob Buckhorn delivering meals with 36 year veteran volunteer, Amy Shimberg and MOW Tampa Executive Director, Steve King.  “We are excited about having Mayor Bob Buckhorn participate in our “Mayors for Meals Day” event and greatly appreciate his wonderful show of appreciation for those we serve,” said Steve King.

March For Meals is a national campaign during the month of March, initiated by the Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), which seeks to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of the local community.

This year, Meals On Wheels programs across the country are also celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the inclusion of Senior Nutrition Programs in the Older Americans Act (OAA).  The OAA is the primary piece of federal legislation that authorizes and supports vital nutrition services, both congregate and Meals On Wheels, to Americans age 60 and older.

“We thank these local leaders for stepping up to the plate and joining our mission to end senior hunger in America by the year 2020,” said MOWAA President and CEO Enid Borden. “Meals On Wheels programs are on the front lines of our battle and need support from elected leaders to continue providing the nutritious meals and human contact that our seniors so desperately depend on.”

Senior nutrition programs across the United States, like Meals On Wheels of Tampa, promote March For Meals in their local communities through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives.  Mayors For Meals Day is a component of March For Meals that utilizes the involvement of local Mayors and other local elected officials.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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The Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Meals On Wheels of Tampa partner together as two non-profits helping one another make a difference in our community

TAMPA, Fla.– (November 14, 2011) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa has partnered with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to provide pet food to more homebound and senior individuals in our community who have hungry animals.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay delivers free dog and cat food to seniors who are homebound. The Animeals program enables individuals to keep their pets even if they are unable to leave their homes to buy pet food.  Dedicated volunteers deliver the food on the first Saturday of every month.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves a large population of homebound seniors by delivers hot healthy meals five days a week.  Many of the MOW Tampa pet owners sacrifice their own nutrition by sharing portions of their meal with their hungry pets.  By introducing the Animeals program to MOW Tampa recipients, these individuals and their animals will now be able to maintain a healthy diet.

Both organizations celebrate this partnership, allowing them to share vital resources in order to meet their mission’s needs, caring for people who have pets and need a little extra help providing for them.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels of Tampa wins 6th Annual Children’s Board Innovative Business Plan Competition

TAMPA, Fla.– (September 30, 2011) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa which delivers hot meals to approximately 600 homebound and senior citizens each day, has won the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County’s 6th Annual Innovative Business Plan competition worth $25,000. The innovative business plan competition is part of the Children’s Board’s commitment to social enterprise which incorporates earned income to generate additional revenue.

Steve King, executive director of Meals On Wheels of Tampa, accepted the first-place award at a recognition event at the Children’s Board on Sept. 30. The award will go toward Meals On Wheels’ new initiative, “Nonprofits Helping Nonprofits,” which will prepare and deliver hot, nutritious meals at competitive prices to other nonprofit organizations that have daily food services needs.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Bank of America Awards Meals On Wheels of Tampa a $25,000 Grant

TAMPA, Fla. – (April 14, 2011) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa Receives a $25,000 grant from Bank of America to help feed the homebound and seniors in Tampa

Bank of America recently awarded Meals On Wheels of Tampa a $25,000 grant to provide 5,263 meals for the homebound and senior neighbors served by MOW who can not afford to pay the $4.75 per meal cost. Additionally, this grant allows MOW Tampa to expand their delivery area to meet the growing need for services during this challenging economic time for many homebound and seniors. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is extremely grateful for this generous grant and the ongoing partnership with Bank of America.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels of Tampa Receives $30,000 grant from Bank of America

TAMPA, Fla. – (October 11, 2010) — Bank of America awarded Meals On Wheels of Tampa a $30,000 operating support grant which will be used to address a new state law signed in August, which mandates increased background screening for all volunteers who serve vulnerable populations. This grant will ensure that Meals On Wheels of Tampa will not have to draw upon its operating budget to cover the cost of $42.25 for each background check required for the over 700 volunteers who regularly deliver hot, healthy meals to homebound and seniors in the community. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is extremely grateful for the generous grant and its ongoing partnership with Bank of America.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Meals On Wheels of Tampa Delivers More Than Meals for the Holidays

TAMPA, Fla.– (December 5-7, 2011) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa delivers holiday gift bags to the homebound and seniors to brighten their holiday season.

 

For many of our recipients their family lives far away.  Age and lack of financial resources keep many of the elderly bound to their homes during the holidays.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is making the season extra special by assembling and delivering holiday gift bags to each recipient.  This is our way of reminding our homebound and seniors they are not forgotten and we care.  Each bag is filled with a variety of items, including: a calendar, Christmas ornaments, snacks, juices, hygiene items, and one special wrapped gift, which is a plush white towel this year.

These gift bags are made possible by the many donations Meals On Wheels of Tampa receives from businesses, faith-based organizations, schools and individuals in the community.  A special thank you to: Dr. Edward, Village Presbyterian Women, US Food Service, Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office, The Girl Scouts, Vangent Inc.,Canterbury Towers, Cheney Brothers, Odyssey Marine Exploration, Nu Vista.

Members of the MOW Tampa Board and staff are gathering at our facility to assemble the bags on Monday, December 5thfrom 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.  Volunteers will deliver the bags on Wednesday, December 7th.   This program has been a success for many years.  Many recipients often say this is the only gift they get all season.  It is always something they look forward to receiving.

 

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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Amy Shimberg Volunteer of the Year Awarded to Mary Rose Owens

TAMPA, Fla. – (September 29, 2010) – Meals On Wheels of Tampa awarded Mary Rose Owens, of Temple Terrace, the Amy Shimberg Volunteer of the Year Award for her 35 years of service to Meals On Wheels of Tampa.

Mary Rose Owens began volunteering for Meals On Wheels of Tampa the day the doors opened in 1975. Currently Ms. Owens is a Route Coordinator for our Temple Terrace Distribution Site. As a Route Coordinator, she recruits volunteers, assigns routes, trains new volunteers and oversees the day to day operations. Earlier this year, Ms. Owens played a significant role in helping Meals On Wheels of Tampa expand their service to the homebound and seniors in the Temple Terrace community. The Amy Shimberg Volunteer of the Year Award was created in 2007 in honor of Ms. Amy Shimberg. Amy is a humble and dedicated volunteer who has delivered hot, healthy meals to the homebound and seniors of our community every Wednesday for 35 years and continues to do so today. The award was created so Meals On Wheels of Tampa could recognize one volunteer each year who exemplifies dedication and commitment through selfless service to our organization. Past winners of the Amy Shimberg Volunteer of the Year Award have been: Ms. Amy Shimberg (2007), Ms. Margaret Goodson (2008), Mr. Ben Coleman (2009), Ms. Mary Rose Owens (2010).

Volunteers like Mary Rose Owens are the heart and soul of Meals On Wheels of Tampa, delivering hot, nutritious meals and touching the lives of the homebound and seniors in our community.

About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour.  Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.


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