The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging's Meals on Wheels program has been awarded $16,318.80 through a Walmart Foundation grant to the Meals on Wheels Association of America.
The money will help the Meals on Wheels program buy of a new van. Officials said the financial support is desperately needed as many Meals on Wheels programs across the country continue to struggle with skyrocketing gasoline prices and rising food prices. The Walmart Foundation-MOWAA "Building the Future" Impact Grant will allow the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging's Meals on Wheels program to buy the new van and help ensure sustainability while fostering long-term growth.
"Thanks to the Walmart Foundation-MOWAA Building the Future Impact Grant, we now have a brighter future in our efforts to keep feeding seniors in our community," said Cherianne Wold, director of the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging. "This grant will help us provide the next meal to many of our clients in need and will truly make a difference for seniors of Cattaraugus County."
The Walmart Foundation recently announced a $5 million donation to the Meals on Wheels Association of America as part of a $2 billion commitment to support hunger relief efforts through 2015. Part of that $5 million donation will fund the "Building the Future" Impact Grants. The grants will help more than 100 local Meals on Wheels programs purchase stoves, refrigerators, trucks, and other equipment needed in the fight to end senior hunger.
The Walmart Foundation first became a partner of Meals on Wheels in 2008. A donation of $750,000 to MOWAA helped 80 programs restore meal services that had been reduced or were facing cuts. In late 2009, the foundation donated an additional $2.2 million to the Meals on Wheels Association of America that helped 147 programs expand their meal services with new equipment.
"We know that seniors are among those hardest hit by hunger in this country. Many are homebound, and rely on neighbors and community volunteer programs like Meals on Wheels to help put food on the table," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "Through this $5 million grant, we hope to bring additional attention to senior hunger and help ensure our parents, grandparents, and friends who have added so much to our lives have access to healthy and nutritious food."
"The Walmart Foundation continues to step up to the plate in the fight against senior hunger," said Enid Borden, Meals on Wheels Association of America president and chief executive officer. "They understand that joining Meals on Wheels in this battle is a moral imperative. The Walmart Foundation's generous support helps ensure our programs sustain meal services well into the future. We can't thank the Walmart Foundation enough for being such a powerful partner in our mission to end senior hunger in America by the year 2020."
Research sponsored by the Meals on Wheels Association of America shows more than six million seniors in America face the threat of hunger.