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Maniacs Give Back: Meals on Wheels of Tampa

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 49,100 Tampa Bay residents are 65 or older, and many of them suffer from health conditions and disabilities that prevent them from making their own meals. Many seniors also live alone, far removed from family members who are available to assist them.

Meals on Wheels of Tampa is a nonprofit organization that steps in to assist the elderly by delivering prepared meals to their doorstep. Grace, who is 84 years old, is one of their regular meal recipients and lives alone. Since her stroke years ago she struggles to move around and has a walker. Her children and family live in Chicago, but she doesn’t want to move in with them because she loves staying in her own house. Since Grace’s husband died over 5 years ago, she relies on the daily meal delivery and enjoys talking to the volunteers that stop by her home.

She said, “I don’t know what I’d do without these meals. Life is hard enough for an old lady like me since my husband passed and I had my stroke, and Lord knows my $500 a month from Social Security doesn’t go very far. These meals are a Godsend.”

According to Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Tampa, Steve King, the act of handing out a free dinner goes a lot further than simply alleviating hunger. He said, “We’re about food certainly. That keeps them healthy and independent. But that daily volunteer visit to somebody who is isolated and alone makes such a difference in the social wellbeing of our recipients.”

Meals on Wheels of Tampa does not receive government funding, so they rely on private donors and the support of the local community to keep the program going. They have 25 full-time kitchen staff devoted to making healthy homemade meals for the community, but need regular daily volunteers to distribute the meals to the homes in the local area.

Meals on Wheels delivers 1,200 meals per day through roughly 110 routes. PostcardMania staff members recently dedicated their time and energy to help deliver about 60 of those meals to individuals in need in the Tampa Bay area. Maniacs also delivered smiles to the seniors they interacted with, brightening their day and offering encouraging words of support.

“A knock at the door might not seem like a big deal to many of us. But, to a homebound senior, it could signal the arrival of the only person they might see all day or all week long. It brings hope. It brings health. It brings the nutrition and care that will completely make their day. A knock from Meals on Wheels can even save lives.” –Meals on Wheels website

Beyond giving seniors smiles and handing them a hot meal, Maniacs also raised more than $1,000 through their annual Valentine’s Day flower drive to help support the Meals on Wheels program. Every year around the holiday, Maniacs are encouraged to purchase flowers for their coworkers and also give back to a worthy cause.

PostcardMania intends to continue to partner with this charity to help eradicate hunger in the local community. If you would like to give back as well by partnering with Meals on Wheels of Tampa, visit their website at https://mowtampa.org/

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