March for Meals Champions Week

March for Meals is a month-long national celebration of Meals on Wheels. Each year, the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) joins together with Meals on Wheels America to draw attention to the important services provided by Meals on Wheels.

During March for Meals, March 21 – 25 is designated as Champions Week. Business leaders, legislators, and community partners will join ACCA during the week to ride-along with longstanding Meals on Wheels volunteers to deliver meals to clients and see the effects of the service in our community.  “Each of our community champions has the ability to raise awareness of the growing number of local older adults facing senior hunger and isolation,” said Eve Anthony, Interim CEO of ACCA.  “Through daily meal delivery and the companionship of our friendly volunteers, our Meals on Wheels program has a significant impact on the lives of these older adults.”

These ride-alongs will give our champions the opportunity to learn more and speak out about the effort to fill the gap between the seniors served and those in need. That gap is widening due to increased demand with a rapidly aging population combined with declining public and private resources, and rising food, transportation and operational costs. There are currently more than 60 seniors waiting for Meals on Wheels in the communities we serve. Now more than ever our story needs to be told. Meals on Wheels is an integral service for our community.

“I remember the joy my grandma experienced every day as her meal was delivered,” said community champion, Matthew Purkey, President of the United Way of Northeast Georgia. “I am humbled for the opportunity to be the one not only delivering a meal, but companionship and hopefully a smile. It is an honor to be associated with such an amazing organization that provides essential programming to those in our community.”

The focus of March for Meals is volunteer recruitment. Volunteers are the life source of the Meals on Wheels program. However, donations always make providing this valuable service much easier. Anyone interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities or donating to Meals on Wheels should contact ACCA at 706-549-4850 or visit www.accaging.org. To learn more about March for Meals, visit www.marchformeals.com.

Special thanks to all our community champions this month:

  • Congressman Jody Hice
  • Daniella Perry, Senator Johnny Isakson Staff
  • Representative Chuck Williams
  • Mayor Nancy Denson, Athens-Clarke
  • Mayor Dodd Ferrell, Winterville
  • Mayor David Maynard, Winder
  • Commissioner Kelly Girtz
  • Commissioner Sharyn Dickerson
  • Sheriff Jud Smith, Barrow County
  • Sheriff Ira Edwards, Athens-Clarke
  • Corporal Erika Murphy, ACC Sheriff Office
  • Captain Hayden Hodges, ACC Sheriff Office
  • Sgt. Dallas Pope, ACC Sheriff Office
  • Chaplain Toy Wilkins, ACC Sheriff Office
  • Chief Jimps Cole, ACC Sheriff Office
  • Dr. Shelly Nuss, Dean AU/UGA Medical Partnership
  • Matthew Purkey, NEGA United Way President
  • Alexia Ridley, WUGA Radio Personality
  • Robert Miles, UGA Athletics
  • Chris Herron, CEO Creature Comforts
  • Seth Herman, Business Development Director Creature Comforts
  • Ken Manring, White Tiger Gourmet
  • Melinda Edwards, White Tiger Gourmet
  • Athens Roller Girls
  • Jan Kozak, CEO 1000 Faces Coffee and Manager, Farmer’s Market
  • Lindsay Lucas, Marketing Director Phil Hughes
  • Bill Douglas, President/CEO,  Athens First Bank

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