Meals On Wheels America, The Ad Council launch national campaign to drive volunteers and help CAC Mobile Meals serve more Knox County seniors
More than 10 million (1 in 6) seniors in the U.S. face the threat of hunger and more than 15 million (1 in 4) are living in isolation.
In Knox County alone, more than 850 seniors are being served each day to address these issues.
Today, Meals on Wheels America, in partnership with the Ad Council, has launched its first-ever national campaign to recruit volunteers to serve the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. With the senior population projected to double by 2050, Mobile Meals is joining the effort to help inspire a new army of volunteers in Knoxville to meet the growing need.
Every weekday, Mobile Meals volunteers deliver more than 850 meals along with friendly visits and safety checks to those who need them most. As important as the meal delivered is the fact that, for many seniors, the volunteer who delivers it is the only person they will see that day. The delivery isn’t just about nutrition; it’s about the moments of human connection that nourish the senior and the volunteer alike. Mobile Meals relies on an army of about 100 volunteers each day to deliver meals, typically between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., five days a week.
The national integrated public service campaign, created pro bono by the ad agency, Anomaly, will invite America to “Do Lunch” by volunteering during the critical lunch hour period to deliver meals and a smile to seniors. The TV, radio, print, out-of-home and digital public service advertisements (PSAs) will tell the poignant stories of just a few of the 2.4 million seniors the national Meals on Wheels network serves each year, stories that celebrate their lives and show how inspiring, wise and charming they really are.
To further highlight their stories, renowned celebrity photographer Mark Seliger – who has photographed some of our culture’s most famous faces from Kurt Cobain to President Obama – has turned his lens to Meals on Wheels seniors and created a series of portraits for the campaign.
“We’re so excited to be working with Meals on Wheels programs across the country to launch this national effort on the ground,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “We hope that by sharing just a few of our seniors’ amazing and heartfelt stories, we can inspire even more volunteers to lend a caring hand to the growing number of aging neighbors in need.”
“Mobile Meals volunteers are truly the driving force behind our program,” said Mobile Meals volunteer coordinator, Shelly Woodrick.
The number of clients receiving Mobile Meals has increased steadily in recent months, increasing the need for volunteers. Mobile Meals currently delivers 67 routes to every zip code in Knoxville-Knox County, and volunteers are always needed. Since many volunteers deliver in pairs, the number of Mobile Meals volunteers average 100 people daily.
“We applaud the efforts of MOWA in launching this national media campaign and are excited at the prospect of reaching a new volunteer base in our area,” Woodrick added.
“Volunteers and meal clients develop a special bond, even though they see each other for just a few minutes at a time,” Woodrick said. “The daily wellness check provided by the delivery volunteers is just as important as the meals themselves. Our staff, and client family members, depend on the volunteers to communicate any concerns. The most frequent comment I hear from our volunteers is that they receive so much more than they give by participating in our program.”
To learn more about CAC Mobile Meals, visit www.knoxseniors.org/mobile.html or follow them on https://www.facebook.com/knoxcountymobilemeals/ or https://twitter.com/_MealsOnWheels
To learn more about the “America, Let’s Do Lunch” campaign, and to sign up to volunteer, visit www.AmericaLetsDoLunch.org.