50th Anniversary Of The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program

Meals On Wheels Of Salem County Joins In Special Month-Long March For Meals Celebration Commemorating The 50th Anniversary Of The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program

Support will help to fight senior hunger and isolation in Salem County now and for the next 50 years!

Elmer, NJ 2/1/22 – Meals on Wheels of Salem County announced today that it will be participating in a special March for Meals celebration honoring the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, the federal legislation that helps to fund community-based programs like Meals on Wheels. Throughout the month of March, Meals on Wheels of Salem County will join the national Meals on Wheels network to raise awareness and rally support for this vital public-private partnership that has helped provide the seniors in Salem County with an essential service needed to remain healthy and independent at home.

“The last two years have been a challenge for us all, but the first year of the pandemic taught us what life was like for home-bound seniors before the pandemic,” said Carly Melchert-Parlante, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Salem County. “Many of us are unaware of how fortunate we are. Fortunate to have technology and the ability to connect on social media, use Zoom and even order groceries. Most of our participants do not have these options. We proudly provide them vital nutrition and connection with our meal delivery services.”

The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. This year, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country are joining forces for the awareness campaign to celebrate 50 years of success and garner the support needed to ensure these critical programs can continue to address food insecurity and malnutrition, combat social isolation, enable independence, and improve health for years to come.

“The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program is the only federally supported program designed to be an antidote for both senior hunger and isolation,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “Despite decades of proven success and bipartisan support, funding for this program has failed to keep pace with the rapidly growing need for its services. With the nation’s senior population increasing dramatically, now is the time to support local Meals on Wheels programs – through volunteering, donating and speaking out – to ensure we are able to deliver for another 50 years.”

Meals on Wheels of Salem County’s celebration will include various activities throughout the month of March, including meal preparation and meal delivery days, a month long digital fundraising campaign and local dine to donate events.

For more information on how you can volunteer, contribute or speak out for the seniors in Salem County this March, visit www.scmealsonwheels.org. To assist with meal delivery during the month of March email

About Meals on Wheels of Salem County:
Meals on Wheels of Salem County, Inc. is a private, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide home delivered nutritious meals and the comfort of friendship to home-bound senior and disabled residents in Salem County. Our vision is to be the community leader & provider ending senior hunger in Salem County. We are located at 457 Shirley Road in Elmer, NJ.

Meals on Wheels of Salem County began delivery on September 6, 1977. Meals were served to 15 clients. The first month, 150 volunteers served 324 meals prepared by Elmer Community Hospital. Funding was provided by a grant from the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders and seed money from the United Way of Salem County.

Each year, Meals on Wheels delivers between 35,000 and 40,000 meals to clients throughout Salem County. Our network of volunteers donate about 62,000 miles and over 5,000 hours of time annually. More than 250 volunteers serve meals and about 100 more provide support to Meals on Wheels by helping with events, office work and other needs. Volunteer driving is a small commitment, with big rewards. Drivers deliver 1 time every 4 weeks, for about 1 to 2 hours.

Meals on Wheels receives funding in part from Salem County Office on Aging grants: Title III of the Older Americans Act, a Social Service Block Grant, State Home Delivered Meals, and State Weekend Home Delivered Meals (casino revenue). Additional funding sources include Salem Health & Wellness Foundation, FEMA, local churches, private donations, client donations and fundraising events.

The 50th Anniversary