ACCA Begins New Project to Reduce Food Waste and Senior Hunger

IMG_1520The Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) planted herbs and vegetables in a new onsite senior-friendly garden on Thursday as part of the ongoing What A Waste™ project, made possible by a grant from the Walmart Foundation.

ACCA is pleased to be entering into the next phase of their work with NFESH and recognize addressing food waste can directly combat senior hunger.  “Working with NFESH through the What A Waste project has allowed us to take a closer look at our internal waste and develop processes to turn it into healthy food for the older adults we serve,” said Heather Tracy, Director of Operations for the ACCA.

Through What A Waste, all leftover food at ACCA is being separated, measured and catalogued. By learning which foods are left on the seniors’ plates, NFESH can determine which nutrients are being consumed and which nutrients are being wasted. This knowledge will enable ACCA to create menus and serve meals that can improve their clients overall nutrition and promote better health.

“We are working with the Athens Community Council on Aging to track and reduce their food waste, send that food waste to compost and use composted soil to grow a new source of healthful foods,” said Heather Cosson, Director of Communication for the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. “This new senior-friendly garden will provide ACCA fresh vegetables and herbs that can be used to create nutritious and flavorful meals for the seniors they serve.”

Each week, the separated food waste from ACCA is sent to the University of Georgia to be composted. UGA’s Office of Sustainability has donated gardening materials to ACCA.

“We’re excited to partner with ACCA to divert organic materials from the landfill – turning coffee grounds and veggie scraps into nutrient-rich compost and returning it to the garden to grow wholesome food for their clients,” said Kevin Kirsche, Director of Sustainability for the University of Georgia. “Composting is creating a beautiful cycle and UGA students enjoy participating in each stage of the process.”

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Refined Singles Unwind: Game Night!

Event #2 Refined SinglesRefined Singles Unwind is a new social club whose sole purpose is to encourage older adults in the Athens community to get out and have fun!

The next mixer/social event will be held from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at the Rook and Pawn Board Game Café located in Downtown Athens. Come out for a friendly Battle of the Sexes in a Men vs. Women game tournament. The café has a full menu and bar if you would like refreshments. Afterwards, get comfortable browsing the Athens Farmer’s Market which will be set up around the corner from the café in front of Creature Comforts. Members will receive cards with their contact information that they can exchange at the event.

Refined Singles Unwind is a result of the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership and ACCA working together to serve our community.

There is limited space available so make sure you RSVP to Nikaela Frederick 706-549-4850 or with
•             Your Name
•             Phone Number
•             Email Address

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March for Meals Champions who Celebrate our Volunteers

IMG_0880We’ve talked a lot during March for Meals about our Meals on Wheels clients and our community champions. But the life source of Meals on Wheels is our amazing volunteers. We have a team of about 195 volunteers in Clarke and Barrow County who selflessly take time out of their day to deliver not only a meal but so much more.

On the last day of March for Meals, we’d like to highlight three community champions that join together every December and give ACCA a generous donation to make sure our volunteers know how much they are appreciated. Without them, we would not be able to do this ourselves.

Seven years ago the Reifsteck family also got involved with the ACCA Meals on Wheels program. “My grandmother delivered Meals on Wheels for more than 30 years in Fredericksburg, Texas. I’d sometimes go with her on her route, and it’s true that the volunteers benefit from the experience as well as the clients,” said Joyce Reifsteck. Wanting to do something to honor her grandmother and show appreciation to the local volunteers, Joyce and her family started making holiday goody bags for the volunteers.

Although nothing is expected, the volunteers love this special gesture of appreciation for their volunteer service.

Mike Price, President of McLane Southeast, makes sure that the goody bags include hot cocoa and candy every year. “Seven years ago we were approached with the opportunity to participate in this project, and we’re glad to be able to continue the tradition. McLane is proud to be associated with the Meals on Wheels Volunteers and everything they do for the community,” said Price.

When Ann Richardson heard about the effort recently, she knew immediately that she wanted to get involved. She approached her husband Matt about supplying boxes of chocolate truffles for the volunteer gifts. Matt Richardson is the owner of Manor Holdings, a construction and development firm in Athens. “This area has been so good to us,” said Matt, “and we are so happy to get involved in something that helps our community, especially a program like Meals on Wheels that serves so many people.”

Meals on Wheels serves about 200 people on 24 routes in Clarke and Barrow County.  We are able to serve these people because of our wonderful volunteers.  Our volunteers offer a warm smile and a few minutes of social interaction to someone who may otherwise not see anyone all day.

If you are interested in volunteering with Meals on Wheels, please contact Susan Jacobs at 706-549-4850.

If you would like to help sponsor the Meals on Wheels Volunteer Gifts, contact Joyce Reifsteck at 706-310-0206.

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Get Comfortable and March for Meals

During March ACCA had a fantastic time partnering with Creature Comforts during the Get Comfortable campaign. We used it as prime opportunity to spread awareness about March for Meals to support our Meals on Wheels program.MOW-MFM-logo-CMYK_CMYK

We would like to say thank you to everyone in the community that came out and supported us. We had lots of folks interested in learning more about how they could volunteer, and we recruited several runners for our 5K! Not only that, we were floored by the awesome canvases painted by patrons. Our Meals on Wheels clients have loved receiving them!

The partnership between March for Meals and Get Comfortable has been a perfect match, one that we couldn’t be more thrilled about.

Check out some of the photos from our fun Wednesday nights!

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March for Meals 5K Highlight


This past Saturday, March 26, ACCA held the 6th annual March for Meals 5K. The race began and ended at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Athens. All proceeds from the race will go to support Meals on Wheels.

IMG_1389A special congratulations goes to first-place winner, Brad Turner. He is the coordinator for The Campus Kitchen at UGA, and he is a huge champion for Meals on Wheels. Way to go, Brad!

We are so proud of all we have accomplished during March for Meals this year. The 5K is a perfect way to salute all the hard work our volunteers, champions and employees put in every day. We are so thankful for a community that shows up to take a stand.

Check out our album on Facebook to see the highlights from the race!

We also want to give a special shoutout to all our sponsors. These great people and businesses helped make our 5K a special event.

  • Creature Comforts
  • B&D Fabricators
  • AgSouth
  • Athens First
  • Amici
  • The Doroshenko Family
  • Fatz
  • Flagpole
  • Golden Gourmet
  • Merrill Lynch – The Frierson Group
  • Online Athens / Athens Banner-Herald
  • Safelite AutoGlass
  • Sweaney and Sweaney
  • Tires Plus
  • Wesley Woods
  • Smoothie King
  • Einstein Bros Bagels
  • Blue Bell Poterry Studio
  • 1000 Faces Coffee
  • opa robby’s market
  • Trader Joe’s

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