MOWTampa in Resident Life Magazine

 
 

 

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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MOWTampa featured on NBC – Hurricane Irma

Click to view.

 

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


 

Richard Matthews, Delivering Food and Friendship Through Meals On Wheels – Featured in Waterchase Life

For Richard Matthews, working with Meals On Wheels of Tampa is more than just another volunteer opportunity. “I enjoy delivering meals to people who ar ein need of help in getting a nutritious meal daily. The idea that I can provide these meals with a smile and be asking how they’re doing is very rewarding an

d is one way I give back to the community,” says the twelve-year resident of Water-chase. “Another volunteer mentioned this opportunity and I immediately though it was a great way to spend a morning or two each week. I can foresee doing this for many years.”

Richard has been delivering meals to people who are home bound or unable to obtain meals on their own for the last year. He typically spends 4-5 hours a week and one or two mornings volunteering.

At Meals on Wheels, volunteers are the heart of the organization. If you are looking for a way to help through Meals on Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa), they are in need of additional volunteers to help deliver meals in Hillsborough County. It takes approximately one hour or so of your time and volunteers are able to choose which day, and the frequency, to deliver meals based on availability. Summer is a great time to get the kids involved.  MOW Tampa also welcomes one-time, substitute/on-call, drivers.

MOWTampa says that within the Westchase area, there are several volunteers serving. Westchase area residents Jeanne Kuehner helps out in the office every week, while Jeff Chilcott delivers produce every month.  Both Jeanne and Jeff find this work rewarding and feel good knowing that they are helping their community.  The recipients are appreciative of this service and excited to see a happy face.  It’s also a great way to build meaningful friendships!

MOWTampa has been serving Tampa since 1975. (each day we serve 700 seniors, but in a year we serve over 200,000 meals) This year MOWTampa will serve over 700 elderly and homebound neighbors, including approximately 250 people in the Upper Tampa Bay area. Hot meals are delivered Monday-Friday, and produce is d

elivered the third Saturday of each month (Produce on Wheels). In addition several deliveries are made each year for hurricane preparedness packs, as well as treats around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The goal is to help residents live independently in their own home with health, safety and dignity, rather than making the difficult and costly decision to move to an assisted living or other facility.  The typical person that MOWTampa serves is elderly or disabled, lives alone, and has a small pension or social security check every month.

MOWTampa also relies on 66 businesses, clubs and groups (Adopt-A-Route partners) to deliver some of the meals. These groups pick a route close to their location, a day M-F, and then the frequency of delivering. Members then rotate through a schedule allowing them to spend a portion of the morning giving back where they live, play and work.

 

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


 

For Tampa woman, feeding elderly more important than evacuating for Hurricane Irma

TAMPA, Fla. –  Ana Karina Guerra originally planned to evacuate to Georgia to get away from Hurricane Irma.

A volunteer for Meals on Wheels, once she realized few people would be available to deliver meals to the elderly, she changed her plans.

“These organizations only work because there’s people who want to come out and volunteer,” she said.

While thousands made their way out of Florida on Thursday, Guerra spent her day delivering seven meals and handing out hurricane-related information, like where the nearest shelter is, to people like Michael Foley.

“It’s been a life saver, truly been what I needed,” he said.

Meals On Wheels Tampa provides 750 meals a day, totaling 240,000 a year.

It’s not a glamorous job, but one Guerra says is needed.

“Just try to imagine his day-to-day life,” she said, referring to Foley. “I don’t know. It makes everything else kind of like not even matter. I’m glad I get to do this.”

For information on Meals on Wheels, call (813) 238-8410.

© 2017 WTSP-TV

Source

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 Prepares for Hurricane Irma

Meals On Wheels of Tampa Prepares for Hurricane Irma

PRESS ALERT: Meals On Wheels of Tampa Prepares for Hurricane Irma

Dear Meals On Wheels of Tampa Volunteers and Friends,

I’m writing to share our plan and to ask for your help as we prepare for Hurricane Irma in the next few days.  Our priorities are two-fold: 1) to ensure the safety of both our recipients and volunteers, and 2) to ensure the vulnerable population we serve will have the food they need to endure the storm. 

With these priorities in mind, this is our plan: 

Thursday, September 7 – We are asking our Thursday volunteers to deliver the hot meal as usual (we will not be delivering soup this week), and also to be prepared to deliver three additional items:

  • A frozen meal, which will be labeled for Monday, Sept 11, and which will replace our normal Monday meal delivery (for the safety of all concerned, and in anticipation of potential flooding, MOW Tampa will not be delivering hot meals on Monday, September 11th)
  • A “2 Day Shelf Stable Meal Emergency Kit”, which will be boxed and provide emergency food in case of a loss of power.
  • Two information sheets entitled “Hillsborough County Evacuation Zones and Shelters” and “Urgent Information” which include important information for our recipients.

I realize these items will add to the ‘normal’ load of our Thursday volunteers.  We thank you in advance!

Friday, September 8 – We are asking our Friday volunteers to deliver the hot meal and weekend meals as usual, but also be prepared to deliver these additional items:

  • Frozen meals, labeled Monday, Sept 11 (see above), to the few recipients who were not on the Thursday delivery routes
  • A “2 Day Shelf Stable Meal Emergency Kit” (see above), to the few recipients who were not on the Thursday delivery routes
  • Two information sheets entitled “Hillsborough County Evacuation Zones and Shelters” and “Urgent Information” which include important information for our recipients.  This should be distributed to all recipients on your route.

Again, I realize this will add to the normal load of our Friday volunteers.  Thank you in advance for your amazing work!

Other Important InformationFor the safety of all involved, MOW will not be delivering hot meals on Monday, September 11.  The frozen meal labeled Sept 11, combined with the “2 Day Shelf Stable Emergency Kit” will provide the food need for our recipients that day.  We are contacting media outlets to let them know we will not be delivering Monday.  You can assist with getting the word out by reminding all your recipients at delivery on Thursday or Friday.  At this point, depending on the track of the storm, I anticipate our offices will be open Monday to field calls and address any needs of our recipients as needed, 

Your Help Needed! – Currently our main concern is to make sure each of our 73 routes are delivered Thursday and Friday in order to ensure the safety of our recipients.  Understandably, we have several ‘open routes’ on both days, and the list of open routes is attached with this email.  If you can help us on Friday by delivering a route, please call the office (813-238-8410) immediately to let us know.

My heartfelt thanks to each of you for everything you do for our mission as together we care for the homebound and seniors of our community!  Rest assured we will do everything possible to ensure their safety and yours as we prepare for Hurricane Irma.  If you have questions, please call the office or, if after office hours or on the weekend, my cell phone (listed below).  You are an amazing group of people and I appreciate all you do for our mission!

With a grateful heart,

Stephen King, Executive Director

550 W. Hillsborough Ave. l Tampa, FL 33603

813-238-8410 (office) l 727-433-2584 (cell)

s.king@MOWTampa.org l www.MOWTampa.org


Open Routes for Friday, September 7, 2017

ET1

ET2

GL1

NE3

NE4

NE8

 

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


 

 

Congresswoman Castor speaks out against proposed cuts to Meals on Wheels

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – For 35 years, Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Paul Jeske has been donating his time to help senior citizens.

Jeske volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program, bringing hot meals and a warm smile to senior citizens every week.

For Jeske, the effort began one day when he saw an elderly woman standing on the side of the road. Something just didn’t look right to him.

“It was starting to rain. I grabbed an umbrella out of my car and when I got over she was crying and said, ‘all I want to do is get something to eat,’” said Jeske.

The effort didn’t stop with helping one woman across the street. He called the Meals on Wheels program and arranged to have food brought to her on a regular basis.

He then decided to volunteer for the program and he’s been doing it ever since.

Meals on Wheels in Tampa brings 750 hot meals to seniors in Tampa five days a week.

The program receives private donations for much of its operations, but around the country, many Meals on Wheels programs rely on federal community block grants to operate.

This year, President Trump proposed major cuts to the community block grant program and to the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program.

Thursday, Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor went along with Judge Jeske to help deliver meals, to learn about the importance of the program and to speak out against the proposed Trump cuts.

“It’s not just the nutrition. It’s the every day interactions. It’s the relationships they have that are ongoing and now the need is so great, because a lot of our neighbors are living longer,” said Castor.

She believes cutting back on the program would impact many seniors.

“So we are going to stand up to fight it in a very bi-partisan way. I do not think those kind of cuts will survive, but there is a lot at stake,” said Castor.

source

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


 

US Representative Castor Delivers Meals On Wheels

GREAT PHOTO/VIDEO OPT, THURSDAY, AUG. 31, OF US REPRESENTATIVE DELIVERING MEALS ON WHEELS OF TAMPA

US Representative Cathy Castor will be delivering a Meals On Wheels of Tampa route on Thursday, Aug 31.  She will be accompanying a longtime volunteer, Paul Jeske, as they take a hot, noontime meal to recipients living in the Wellswood neighborhood.  The delivery time is 11:30am to 12:30pm, leaving from the MOW office at 550 W. Hillsborough Ave., 33603.

Please call Cindy at 813-238-8410 with any questions.

Media encourage to arrive at Meals On Wheels of Tampa 550 W Hillsborough Ave between 10-1030 to follow along on route near the office.

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 Seeking Volunteer Drivers

By Jeff Chilcott and Jeanne Kuehner

Are you looking for a way to help your community?

Meals on Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa) is in need of additional volunteers to help deliver meals in Hillsborough County. MOWTampa has been serving this community since 1975. This year MOWTampa will serve over 700 elderly and homebound neighbors, including approximately 250 people in the Upper Tampa Bay area.

Hot meals are delivered Monday through Friday, and produce is delivered the third Saturday of each month (Produce on Wheels). In addition, several deliveries are made each year for hurricane packets, as well as treats around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The goal is to help residents live independently in their own home with health, safety and dignity, rather than making the difficult and costly decision to move to an assisted living or other facility. The typical person that MOWTampa serves is elderly or disabled, lives alone, and has a small pension or social security check every month.

Since MOWTampa is a non-profit community organization, volunteers are the heart of the organization. It takes approximately one hour or so of your time and volunteers are able to choose which day, and the frequency of their participation, to deliver meals based on availability. Summer is fast approaching and it’s a great time to get the kids involved. MOW Tampa also welcomes one-time, substitute/on-call drivers.

There are several people in the Westchase area that currently volunteer at MOWTampa. Jeanne Kuehner helps out in the office every week, while Jeff Chilcott delivers produce every month. Both Jeanne and Jeff find this work rewarding and feel good knowing that they are helping their community. The recipients are appreciative of this service and excited to see a happy face. It’s also a great way to build meaningful friendships!

MOWTampa also relies on 66 businesses, clubs and groups (Adopt-A-Route partners) to deliver some of the meals. These groups pick a route close to their location as well as their preferred day and frequency or participation. Members then rotate through a schedule, allowing them to spend a portion of the morning giving back where they live, play and work.

For more information about volunteering with Meals On Wheels, or for other ways to give, please visit: http://www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410.

Source 

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


 

Organizations Team Up to Address Hunger in Tampa Bay

TAMPA, FL, Monday, August 21, 2017 – Senior hunger is a significant issue in the Tampa Bay area with nearly 150,000 of seniors struggling with access to healthy meals.  This issue, often hidden in the shadows of shame and fear, is being highlighted at the Elder Hunger Dinner hosted by a collective group of organizations whose missions are to ensure seniors in the Tampa Bay area have the resources they need to live stronger, healthier lives. The dinner is expected to generate nearly 100 attendees, including Rep. Kathy Castor and the Director of Food Security for the AARP Foundation, Kimberly Perry.

The goal of the Elder Hunger Dinner is to raise awareness and support for the issue here in our community where 1 in 7 adults struggle with food insecurity.  The issue of hunger among seniors is even more critical because of the direct linkage between access to food and health. Seniors who face food insecurity are often left to choose between paying for food or medicine, a sacrifice they cannot afford to make as both help sustain or build their health. The Elder Hunger Dinner will bring collaboration to life in a setting where strong community partners come together to create a stronger community.

WHEN:             Tuesday, August 22, 2017 6:00PM

WHERE:          Feeding Tampa Bay, 4702 Transport Drive, Building 6, Tampa, FL 33605


About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

About Feeding Tampa Bay

Founded in 1982, Feeding Tampa Bay is the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community, serving a food-insecure population of more than 700,000 people in a 10-county area. Feeding Tampa Bay recovers surplus food donations from local growers, manufacturers, supermarkets, and organized community food drives and distributes it to those in need through a partnership network of more than 500 faith-based and other incorporated nonprofit hunger relief organizations. Last year, Feeding Tampa Bay supplied more than 48 million pounds of food, enough to provide nearly 3.5 million meals every month to those who would otherwise go hungry. 

About Humana

Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.

Humana is Florida’s largest Medicare health benefits company with more than 1-million Medicare members statewide, and one of Tampa Bay’s largest health care employers with more than 4,000 associates in the bay area. Humana has launched its Bold Goal regional public health initiative in the Tampa Bay area, to improve the health of the community 20 percent by 2020.

 About Meals On Wheels of Tampa
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing, enriching, and strengthening the lives of homebound and seniors since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa is volunteer driven and 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.

 About Neighborly Care Network

Neighborly Care Network is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the homebound elderly in Pinellas County since 1966. Neighborly’s services include Adult Day Care, Transportation, and Nutrition Services, including Meals on Wheels and Senior Dining. Neighborly Care Network is funded by federal, state, and local governments; the United Way; and is supplemented by private donations to sustain its mission of improved health, wellness and independent living for individuals and families.

About REUNIONCare

REUNIONCare changes the way we care for each other – connecting family and professional caregivers, delivering better care for all. REUNIONCare Provider Gateway aggregates care management processes into one easy to use dashboard. REUNIONCare aggregates all elements of care into a total care solution – providing busy families with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their most vulnerable loved ones are safe. We offer a low cost solution that protects your loved ones, and educates all caregivers to proactively identify and mitigate problems by engaging in a Circle of Care and activating the community around them.

REUNIONCare’s free smartphone application “Credit For Caring” or C4C can be found on iTunes for iPhones and iPads. Credit for Caring mobilizes caregiver tools and aggregates all expenditures on a single account for easy tracking and management.

Founded in 2014, REUNIONCare is a Florida Certified Minority Owned Business located at the Innovation Lab @ Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, FL.

About Senior Connection Center

Senior Connection Center is the Area Agency on Aging and the Aging & Disability Resource Center serving Polk, Highlands, Hardee, Hillsborough and Manatee counties. SCC’s mission is to help older adults and persons with disabilities live with independence and dignity.


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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.


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


 

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.

Study Says Health Benefits Come To Senior Volunteers

  JUL 20, 2017 

You’ve probably heard of AmeriCorps, but did you know there’s also Senior Corps? A new study of senior volunteers by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency which oversees both, now says there’s a connection between volunteering and a boost in health and well-being for seniors. 

 Tampa Meals on Wheels volunteer Lloyd Perlman is living proof that volunteering can be life-affirming. He said he’s found inspiration in acts of service. Early on, he delivered a meal to a 97-year-old man.    “I at the time was 63, and he was out cutting the lawn and doing everything else. And I turned to him and said, ‘you inspire me, because you’re telling me I still have a third of my life to live and live it happily,’ as he was living,” Perlman said. Perlman said in the seven years he’s been delivering food for Meals on Wheels, he’s gotten close to some of the recipients. Sometimes he even takes his grandchildren along to visit them. 

Source 

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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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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“Volunteers deliver hurricane packs,” Times staff, The Tampa Bay Times

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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.


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Meals on Wheels Seeking Volunteer Drivers

By Jeff Chilcott and Jeanne Kuehner

Source

Are you looking for a way to help your community?

Meals on Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa) is in need of additional volunteers to help deliver meals in Hillsborough County. MOWTampa has been serving this community since 1975. This year MOWTampa will serve over 700 elderly and homebound neighbors, including approximately 250 people in the Upper Tampa Bay area.

Hot meals are delivered Monday through Friday, and produce is delivered the third Saturday of each month (Produce on Wheels). In addition, several deliveries are made each year for hurricane packets, as well as treats around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The goal is to help residents live independently in their own home with health, safety and dignity, rather than making the difficult and costly decision to move to an assisted living or other facility. The typical person that MOWTampa serves is elderly or disabled, lives alone, and has a small pension or social security check every month.

Since MOWTampa is a non-profit community organization, volunteers are the heart of the organization. It takes approximately one hour or so of your time and volunteers are able to choose which day, and the frequency of their participation, to deliver meals based on availability. Summer is fast approaching and it’s a great time to get the kids involved. MOW Tampa also welcomes one-time, substitute/on-call drivers.

There are several people in the Westchase area that currently volunteer at MOWTampa. Jeanne Kuehner helps out in the office every week, while Jeff Chilcott delivers produce every month. Both Jeanne and Jeff find this work rewarding and feel good knowing that they are helping their community. The recipients are appreciative of this service and excited to see a happy face. It’s also a great way to build meaningful friendships!

MOWTampa also relies on 66 businesses, clubs and groups (Adopt-A-Route partners) to deliver some of the meals. These groups pick a route close to their location as well as their preferred day and frequency or participation. Members then rotate through a schedule, allowing them to spend a portion of the morning giving back where they live, play and work.

For more information about volunteering with Meals On Wheels, or for other ways to give, please visit: http://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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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.


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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.


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Valentine cards with Meals on Wheels

http://www.wtsp.com/news/valentine-cards-with-meals-on-wheels/408407564

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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December’s Nonprofit Spotlight: Chris Smith and Meals on Wheels

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Chris Smith, Tomlin St Cyr Real Estate Services’ first Founding Agent, previously spent 23 years with Mosaic as its manager of public affairs. Now a full-time Realtor, Chris also dedicates her time to Meals on Wheels as a board member and active volunteer. Since 1975, Meals on Wheels Tampa has been providing hot, nutritious meals to the elderly, homebound and disabled. The nonprofit, which receives no direct government grants or funding, serves more than 700 people in the Tampa Bay area alone.

“This year at the holidays there’s all kinds of programs that the community can get involved in,” Chris said. “You can donate non-perishable food items, jigsaw puzzles or toiletries. What we do is we make up bags to give to these folks at the holidays.”

Volunteers are the heart of of the Meals on Wheels Tampa program, donating their time and own gas to deliver food. Seventy volunteers are needed to deliver to more than 70 routes in the Tampa Bay area. Eighty-five cents of every dollar donated goes directly to feeding and visiting homebound neighbors, with $35 providing a week’s worth of meals. Also important are the daily visits to the elderly and disabled recipients, which decreases their feelings of loneliness and increases their well-being. Volunteers are able to choose which day and the frequency to deliver meals based on availability. It’s also a great way to build meaningful friendships!

“You wouldn’t believe some of the things the people are so grateful for that they can’t get out and get themselves,” said Chris.

Attend one of Meals on Wheels’ community lunches, called Nourish At Noon (NAN), at their office to taste a meal, tour the kitchen and learn more about the nonprofit; RSVP here. You can also find them online here or on Facebook here.

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 delivers Thanksgiving to families

By: Aaron Mesmer, FOX 13 News

 – Volunteers with Meals on Wheels of Tampa helped deliver bags of food to hundreds of families Thanksgiving morning.

The bags were filled with a lot of items including pies, baked goods, cards and flowers and taken to more than 700 people, most of whom are either elderly, disabled, or can’t leave their home for another reason.

“We decided earlier this year that we wanted to help out,” said Chris Jimenez, who was volunteering 

“My aunt and uncle are participating in Meals on Wheels this year because they’re not doing very well and haven’t been able to cook for themselves. So we signed on and they’ve got about three meals a week that they get. And we just thought that we wanted to definitely say ‘thank you’ for what they’re doing for our family.”

Organizers said the goal of this mission is to let the homebound members of Tampa know that people, even strangers, are thinking about them during the holiday season.

“We serve these folks meals everyday, but today is a special day. They get flowers and baked goodies  and little things just to remind them that they are loved,” said Stephen King, the organization’s executive director.

All Thanksgiving “morning goodies” have been collected from the community, with contributions from  Hillsborough County schools and many faith-based organizations.

Volunteers said, as important as the food is, there’s something else that a lot of people appreciate just as much.

“A lot of times, you’re the only person that they see all day long,” said Stephanie Wood, a volunteer. “I have so much to be thankful for in my family, it’s just a tradition that we always like to do something on Thanksgiving to give back to other people that don’t.”

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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“Former New York City chef dedicated to Meals on Wheels,” Bobby Lewis, CBS Channel 10 WTSP.

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 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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“Maggie Fitzsimmons honored as first Lightning Community Hero of Tomorrow,” The Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program

Click here to view 

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


 

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.

“Healthy snacks for seniors,” CBS Channel 10 WTSP.

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


 

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.


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Meals On Wheels Of Tampa Seeking Summer Volunteers

By Kathy Collins 

Are you looking for an interesting and rewarding way to volunteer? Meals on Wheels of Tampa (MOW of Tampa) is in need of area volunteers, especially those who speak Spanish, to help serve routes in Palm River, Progress Village and East Tampa. MOW of Tampa serves approximately 700 meals per day to seniors and homebound residents.

There are several ways that volunteers can help. In October 2015, MOW of Tampa launched POW! (Produce on Wheels). According to Lauren Vance, director of communications, “After a needs assessment was done, we developed POW!. This was done to increase our senior and homebound recipients access to fresh produce.”

Volunteers deliver bags of produce once per month on the third Saturday of the month. Volunteers pick up the bags of produce along with a route sheet and driving instructions and deliver the bags. Once the bags are delivered, the job is finished.

Volunteers are also needed for regular routes to deliver meals once per week to recipients. It takes about one hour to complete. Drivers must be 18 years old, have an automobile, a valid driver’s license, proof of automobile insurance and consent to a background screening. Children may ride along with guardians. This is a great opportunity for students to receive Bright Futures and community service hours.

“One of the many benefits of volunteering is the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to the growing population of the homebound and senior members in Tampa. This is done by delivering a meal to people who desire to live independently in their own homes. In addition, volunteers offer caregivers a peace of mind that their loved ones will receive a meal, a friendly conversation and a daily-check,” said Vance.

MOW of Tampa also has availability for seniors and homebound who are in need of the services. If you know someone who wants to retain their independence, but needs the assistance of having meals delivered to them by a caring volunteer, visit www.mowtampa.org/programs/mealservice/.

MOW of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. MOW of Tampa relies on support from the community and does not receive government funding.

To volunteer, sign up at www.mowtampa.org/programs/pow or www.mowtampa.org/volunteers/volunteerneed/.

 

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 Tampa needs summer volunteers

By: Kathryn Bursch, WTSP 

12:50 PM. EDT June 02, 2016

Every day in Tampa about 700 home-bound seniors depend on a visit from Meals on Wheels. They welcome the hot food and the friendly face.

“A lot of them will tell us, even though they do love the meal, they like the visit more,” explains Andrea Brogen from Meals on Wheels. “I have some cute little ladies that put on lipstick and get dressed, because they’re looking forward to that volunteer coming around and seeing them.”

Laura Sherman has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels for four years. She and her co-workers at Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Insurance have adopted a route. “We were looking for something to give back to the community both as a firm and individually,” Sherman says. “It’s amazing when you deliver the meals—the look on their face. You’re not only nourishing their body, but their soul.”

Meals on Wheels can always use more volunteers, but the summer months are especially critical. Family vacations can interrupt normal delivery schedules.

Volunteering is easy to do. A typical route takes about an hour to complete and children are also welcome to come along. Volunteering on Saturdays is also a possibility, because once a month Meals on Wheels delivers fresh produce to seniors.

For more information on how to volunteer check out this website.

 

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


 

 

“The Luminarees,” The Junior League of Tampa in partnership with WEDU.

3:30 second mark 

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.

Hurricane preparedness packs delivered to homebound neighbors

TAMPA, Fla. —  We are just over a week away from the start of this year’s hurricane season. Right now is the time you should be getting ready and mapping out a plan with your family to make sure you have enough supplies to ride out the storm. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa, The Moffitt Cancer Center, Suncoast Credit Union, USF and many other dedicated volunteers delivered special Hurricane Preparedness Packs to people in our community who can’t get around easily on their own..

As June approaches we are reminded to prepare for the 2016 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 21. 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 whistle, a flashlight, and a variety of emergency resource guides.  The pack is free of charge to recipients. This year, a generous grantor provided funding for the Hurricane Preparedness Pack shelf-stable meals, as well as the whistles. HCI Group, Inc. provided the gallons of water and flashlights. Meals On Wheels of Tampa also participated in Give Day Tampa Bay to raise awareness and funds to cover the costs. 

For the past 11 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.  Just last year, 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 21, to prepare and deliver these packs: HCI Group, Inc., Chubb Insurance, Grow Financial, Health Choice Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center, Suncoast Credit Union, USF, Vaco 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 relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding and is proud that 85 cents of every dollar donated goes back to feeding and caring for our senior and homebound neighbors.

Interested in volunteering or want to learn more about Meals On Wheels of Tampa? Would you like to start receiving meals or do you know someone in need of home delivered meal service? Please click HERE 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


 

“Student Leadership Board Hosted ‘Student Music Fest’ To Benefit Tampa’s Seniors and Homebound,” The Penny Saver.

 

Click here to view.

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


“Give Day Tampa Bay 2016 Live Coverage from WEDU PBS, 3:00 Hour,” WEDU PBS

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 HSLB Student Music Fest 2016 to Benefit Water On Wheels program

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.


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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