March for Meals - March 10th

Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud will be conducting a 1.5 mile march in Berthoud, Colorado to raise awareness for the organization as part of the national 16th Annual March for Meals.

The march is an effort to spotlight and support vulnerable seniors who rely on this vital service to remain independent at home. The march coincides with Meals on Wheels 50th anniversary of service in Loveland and Berthoud.

What is the event:

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Our March for Meals event commemorates the historic day in March 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and established a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older.

Since 2002, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the seniors served and those still in need.

Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud invites all Berthoud and Loveland community members to join our 1.5 mile walk. We will be escorted by JRROTC Berthoud and we’ll encourage all participants to show their support for seniors, and raise awareness for the power of Meals on Wheels. Signs will be supplied.

Event is free, but participants must register.
To register visit:

lovelandmealsonwheels.org/marchformeals

Where is the event:

Our march begins at Grace Place, 375 Meadowlark Drive, Berthoud, CO, continues east on Mountain Avenue, and will conclude at City Star Brewing, 321 Mountain Avenue, Berthoud, CO. Lunch will be supplied by Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud.

Participant parking is in the overflow parking area at Grace Place. Return rides to
parking area will be available.

When is the march:

Saturday, March 10, 2018
10:00AM – 1:00PM

VISUALS: As the group reaches Fickel Park in downtown Berthoud (approximately 11:00AM),
we’ll pause to take the opportunity to raise awareness by displaying signs and balloons to attract the attention of local citizens. From there the group will proceed to City Star Brewing for a lunch supplied by Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud.

Ribbon Cutting with the Loveland Chamber of Commerce

 Courtesy of DON rEILLY

Courtesy of DON rEILLY

On January 30th we celebrated our volunteers and 50 years of service with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce

If you are on Facebook, checkout the post on the Loveland Chamber page. It was a great event that was captured in wonderful images by Don Reilly with DJRImaging. Below are a few select images courtesy of Don Reilly. All the photos from the event can be viewed in this gallery

4 Benefits a Meal Delivery Service Can Have for Seniors

This is a guest post by Dan Scalco

 Fresh off the line Beef Pot Pie, Glazed Beets, & Santa Barbara Vegetables ready to go.

Fresh off the line Beef Pot Pie, Glazed Beets, & Santa Barbara Vegetables ready to go.

Putting a delicious meal on the table every day can be quite a hassle for senior citizens. Many of them deal with mobility issues or other health concerns that can make it hard for them to get to the grocery store or spend time in the kitchen. As a result, meal delivery services have become increasingly popular for seniors who need help when it comes to food.

One of the most popular options is Meals on Wheels, which sends daily deliveries of fresh-made dishes. Seniors simply need to unwrap them and enjoy. It doesn’t get much easier than that! But there are a few other benefits that a meal delivery service can have for seniors. Here’s what you need to know about them:

1. They’ll Receive Healthy & Easy Meals

Unfortunately hunger is a very real issue throughout the world, including here in the United States. According to research from the American Academy of Family Physicians, there are an estimated 3.7 million malnourished seniors living in this country.

The reality is, far too many seniors are going hungry. It’s partly due to the fact that their mobility issues can make it hard for them to cook healthy homemade meals. As a result, they go without food and their bodies don’t receive the nutrients they need to function at their best. Instead of leaving them to struggle in the kitchen, a meal delivery service like Meals on Wheels can really make a difference.

How? Meals on Wheels delivers freshly made, hot dishes that are ready to eat. That means there’s no added stress of having to buy groceries, prep, and cook. Seniors can spend less time in the kitchen and can focus on enjoying their food instead.

Not only that, but these meals are prepared fresh, in a kitchen by professionals, and delivered right to their door. It’s going to be a lot more flavorful and delicious than some of the frozen dinners you’ll find at the grocery store that are almost always packed with sodium and preservatives.

2. There’s No Need to Go Grocery Shopping

When you’re receiving pre-made meals straight to your door, there’s no reason to do a regular grocery shop every single week. This takes a lot of added stress off the seniors in your life. They won’t have to drive themselves to the store or rely on someone else to take them. Plus, they won’t have to take public transportation to get there either.

And when you think about it, grocery shopping can be a major hassle for our elders. They have to first plan and create the grocery list, get to the store, walk around while pushing the shopping cart, then make it back home, and put everything away. For seniors who have mobility issues or other physical impairments, this is a rather challenging task that many cannot even safely attempt.

3. Deliveries Allow Them to Have Face-to-Face Contact With Someone

Another benefit you might not think about is the fact that these seniors get face-to-face contact when the deliveries are made. For many seniors, especially those who live alone, they don’t always get this kind of personal connection with another person on a regular basis. They may talk on the phone with friends and family members, but actually being able to see someone may not happen that often.

A study from Brown University revealed that seniors benefited from the contact they got when daily Meals on Wheels deliveries were made. In fact, the research revealed those seniors who received meal delivery experienced fewer falls and even less hospitalizations. If there’s a senior in your life who lives alone, they may really appreciate and look forward to those daily visits.

4. It’s Even Suitable for Those on a Budget

Using a prepared meal delivery service can really benefit those seniors who are on a tight budget. Instead of stressing about the varying cost of groceries, they can sign-up for Meals on Wheels and pay on a regular basis. They’ll always know what their meals will cost, which helps to keep them on track with spending.

Plus, you do get a great deal for the value you’re getting. In the end, using a meal delivery service can actually save cash when compared to the price of frozen dinners you’d buy at the grocery store. Even seniors want to keep a little extra cash in their pockets!

Guest post written by Dan Scalco. Follow him on Twitter at  twitter.com/DanScalco

Dan founded digitalux.com and is a columnist  at Inc, Entrepreneur, and HuffPo. He also blogs about meal delivery services over at Food Box HQ.

Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud Month

On Tuesday, January 16th  the City Council of Loveland declared January 2018 to be

Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud Month!

And January 16th, 2018 as Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud 50th Anniversary Kickoff.

Download and read the entire proclamation in PDF format.

PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS,   The City of Loveland recognizes the importance of nourishing and enriching the lives of homebound individuals with nutritious meals and daily contact by caring volunteers; and

WHEREAS,   The senior population in Colorado is increasing by 6% each year, and as our population continues to age, needs increase as well; and

WHEREAS,   Between 2010 and 2015 the senior population in Loveland increased by 41%, and as our population continues to age, needs increase as well; and

WHEREAS,   Nearly 300 meals are delivered to Loveland homebound residents daily, in 2017 an estimated 100,000 meals will be prepared; and

WHEREAS,   Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud volunteers deliver nutritious meals  and provide daily contact for our homebound population, helping those in need to maintain independence, and premature institutionalization; and

WHEREAS,   Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud has been serving our communities for 50 years; and

WHEREAS,   To continue feeding those in need, Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud will commence a year-long celebration to share our story of impact and purpose with our community, and to further expand our reach;

Now, Therefore, we, the City Council of Loveland, do hereby declare January 2018 as

MEALS ON WHEELS OF LOVELAND AND BERTHOUD MONTH

And January 16, 2018, as

MEALS ON WHEELS OF LOVELAND AND BERTHOUD 50TH ANNIVERSARY KICKOFF

In the City of Loveland, Colorado and ask the citizens of this community to help raise awareness about the importance of providing nutritious meals and daily contact for our homebound citizens.

Signed this 16th day of January, 2018

Jacki Marsh, Mayor

Volunteer Spotlight - Paul and Elaine

In 2003 when Paul and Elaine began as volunteer drivers, they decided to do things a little differently - they started as substitute drivers! They continue to be substitutes 14 years later. Paul, a veteran, (more on that in a minute) says “We love meeting the clients and other volunteers - and as substitutes we always meet new people and hear the most interesting stories.”

Paul and Elaine have been married 60 years. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.  Elaine grew up in Reno, Nevada, where she and Paul met at Stead Air Force base.

In honor of Veteran’s Day*, we’re highlighting Paul in particular, who is an outstanding example of a lifetime of service. At 17 he enlisted and served in Japan at General MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo toward the end of WWII. After the war, Paul attended college at the University of Iowa, then went to work for the Army as an industrial engineer developing work methods and standards. During a work-related trip to Japan, Paul had the opportunity to visit the building he had worked in during the war. Amazingly, he was shown General MacArthur’s office, which had been kept as it was during the war - not a thing had changed. 

Paul worked and ultimately retired as a civilian from the Air Force. As you know, Veteran’s Day is to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. We are very thankful for Paul’s military service, and for Paul and Elaine’s long-term service to Meals on Wheels. 

(*This volunteer spotlight was originally published in the November 2017 print edition of The Dish.)

2018 Marks Our 50th Anniversary

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In June of 1968, Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud served its first meals. Eleven meals to be exact. It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way since those early days. We are so proud of what this organization has accomplished since 1968.

How best to adequately thank and recognize all those who have been a part of this journey over the years? Let’s try to imagine how many nutritious meals have been served throughout our community since opening day. This year alone we’ll be serving just under 100,000 meals! Just think of the impact these meals and daily contact have had in people’s lives.

How many remarkable volunteers - past and present - have volunteered their time, enthusiasm, and love for this organization. Drivers, kitchen helpers, administrative assistants, and the invaluable support and direction of our volunteer board members throughout the years. Every volunteer has, in their own way, made an indelible mark upon this organization.

Think of all the supporters in our community and elsewhere - those who have generously donated without hesitation year after year, and the foundations and organizations who have provided critical funding over the years. These sources of funding provide the very groundwork of our efforts.

Our dedicated staff members who have worked tirelessly over the years: kitchen, administrative, and executive directors. Fifty years with each person leaving their imprint upon this organization - everyone has been a part of this incredible evolution.

We hope you will share our story of impact and purpose with your neighbors, family and friends, and colleagues.

We’d like everyone to join with us as we unveil memorable ways to celebrate our 50th in 2018. We encourage you to remain or become active in our organization in your own way.

Our mission of providing nutrition, promoting independence and enriching lives at Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud could not be more important or relevant, so we ask “won’t you join us as we begin our next 50 years?”
 

The Next Fifty

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Over the last six to eight months we have had  a lot of healthy discussion about our 50th anniversary in 2018. It seems every week I meet someone who tells a story that helps me see the incredible impact our organization has in our community over the years. Now is a perfect time to look back at what has been accomplished, and to plan strategically for years to come.

We will celebrate our 50th anniversary throughout the course of the entire year. I won’t share all the details just yet, but we have set our sights on dramatically increasing awareness of Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud. We are planning monthly events (large and small) that should be fun and appealing to a wide variety of people. The one piece I will share is that we are planning a signature dinner event in mid-June that is shaping up to be one of the coolest dining experiences I have ever heard about. 

Our 50th year will be more than just events and get togethers. Our goal is to inform and engage everyone we touch about how you, our volunteers, donors, and supporters, have helped tens of thousands of our neighbors over the past 50 years live nourished lives with independence and dignity. And we will continue this mission going forward with your help. 

If you are part of a community organization, or belong to a club, church, or business that would benefit by learning exactly how we help so many people stay independent, we would love the opportunity to speak to your group about our program. 

Simply put, please call us: 970-667-0311.  Let’s set up a time to get together. No matter the group size, let’s collaborate together to continue building this organization’s legacy for the next fifty years. 

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Blizzard Box Thank You

We recently received a nice thank you note and financial contribution from one of our clients upon receipt of this years’ Blizzard Box. “Thanks for Blizzard Box, wish I could do more! I do appreciate the good food and the friendly volunteers. I will continue with the meals until I get much stronger. Thanks again for all the help you’ve done for me also.” Betty M.

Betty is referring to the two days of shelf-stable foods delivered in what are known as “Blizzard Boxes”. In October & November we delivered 325 Blizzard Boxes. Each box provide two days worth of shelf-stable nourishment in the event that our drivers are unable to deliver meals due to inclement weather. 
 

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Velma Retires

In 2004 Velma Combers was hired at Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud. Reflecting back, within 48 hours she said, “I knew I was in the right place. I knew this was where I belonged.”

For over thirteen years Velma has successfully managed the Meals on Wheels kitchen and staff, prepared menus and, as a Registered Dietician, ensured that all meals are delivered to our clients are the right mix of flavor, recommended daily allowance for proper nutrition, and portion size. On November 1, Velma retired and relocated to Minnesota.

Jeffrey Pomranka, Executive Director, said “Velma has been extremely resourceful – always searching for the right product at just the right price, and always with success. She runs a very tight operation, training her staff properly and monitoring all food safety practices. We will miss her immensely, but she is leaving a great staff in place who are stepping up to take the reins.”

“I have always loved to cook, and preparing nutritious meals for those in need at Meals on Wheels has been the greatest experience for me. I will always treasure my time here,” said Velma. We wish you only the very best in your retirement, Velma!

Colorado Gives Day - 2017

Are you ready to have an impact? Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Last year you helped raise over $18,000 for Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud. That was enough to feed eight seniors for a year.

Our goal for Colorado Gives Day 2017 is $22,360. Help us meet that goal to fully fund a year of meals for 10 seniors!  

Join the fun and visit our Colorado Gives page to make a pledge today! 

Help us hit our goal of funding a year of meals for 10 seniors!

Thank you very much for your support.

Make A Difference Day 2017

It was a gorgeous fall this year. The leaves held on and we were rewarded with a few weeks of brilliant color. Once the leaves fell, the timing was perfect for United Way’s “Make A Difference Day” and Meals on Wheels clients’ homes where leaves were piling up.  

Meals on Wheels’ Volunteer Coordinator Jarita Webster worked with 35 employees from both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. as part of Make a Difference Day through the United Way of Larimer County. The volunteers raked and bagged leaves for 40 of our clients in Loveland and Berthoud. 

“This is the third year in a row that I’ve organized our effort to rake leaves for clients of MOW of Loveland and Berthoud. My team has consistently found the activity very rewarding,” said Randy Nettleton, R&D Project Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Jarita added, “Thanks to the City of Loveland’s donation of large leaf bags, along with all the HP and HPE volunteers, we were able to help 40 of our clients get their yards in shape for winter.” 

Good to the last drop

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We spent yesterday evening  at the Downtown Loveland Festival of Lights serving up some of the most delicious hot chocolate and s’mores on the front range. I hope you were able to get a cup. With all of our planning, we did not anticipate serving 500 cups in 90 minutes!

It must have been good, because no one complained about waiting for a cup and our donation box was overflowing at the end of the night.

Our volunteers were awesome and never stopped until we served the last drop. Thank you!

The s’mores were just as big of a hit with the perfect mix of gooey marshmallows, crunchy graham crackers, and thick Hersey’s chocolate.

It was such great fun we cannot wait to do it all again next year, but this time with double the goodies!

If you missed it, or just want to see more, you can visit the event page on Facebook or take a behind the scenes look at how to make 23 gallons of hot chocolate

Meals on Wheels America (MOWA) Holds 2017 Conference in Denver

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This year the foremost gathering of hundreds of senior nutrition professionals took place in Denver in August.

Jeffrey Pomranka, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud, attended the conference. “It was a very good experience to meet fellow Meals on Wheels colleagues from around the country. To have the ability to gain new insights, share best practices and network is always rewarding. As a result of attending this conference, I now have additional resources at my fingertips.”

Jeff continues, “One aspect of the conference I found extremely valuable was the emphasis on how technology can be used to improve quality of life for seniors - helping to keep them healthy, engaged, and as independent
as possible.”

Conference sessions covered numerous aspects of the Meals on Wheels world, from nutrition to client safety, to finance and funding diversification.

One topic widely discussed at the conference was federal funding. According to MOWA, they are serving 23 million fewer meals today than in 2005 due to funding that has not kept pace with inflation, and the rapid and consistent growth in America’s senior population.

“Assuring adequate federal funding for social programs like Meals on Wheels is not only vital to the health and well-being of at-risk seniors, but it is essential to the health and vibrancy of our nation. We are already losing ground in keeping pace with an exponentially increasing need. The time to act to save lives and money is now,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of MOWA.

Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud receives partial federal funding, administered by the Larimer County Department of Human Services Office on Aging. Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud is a member of Meals on Wheels America.

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Santa for Seniors!

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Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud’s Santa for Seniors Project starts a little earlier this year to give everyone in the community a chance to participate in brightening the holidays for someone special.

Meals on Wheels is now accepting donations weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm. Our office is located at 437 Garfield Avenue in Loveland.

Suggested donations: new blankets, couch throws, anything with a Bronco logo, diabetic socks, various sizes of men’s and women’s flannel shirts, pajamas, robes, slip-proof slippers, LED lanterns and flashlights, bathmats, towels, socks, gourmet coffee and tea sets, thermal spill-proof mugs and drink cups.

Gifts must be new and unwrapped to easily identify sizes. Monetary donations will be used for gifts or meal sponsorship.

Thank you for helping Meals on Wheels help Santa do his job, and spread moments of joy during the holidays. For more information call Jenny McKalko, Santa for Seniors Program Administrator, at 970.667.0311 or email: jenny@lovelandmealsonwheels.org.

Referral Services Available at Meals on Wheels

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Jayne Southard, BSW, Support Coordinator, has worked at Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud since 2015. She assists our clients with maintaining optimal functionality and quality of life in their homes, and she assists with informing clients regarding financial, medical, home services and benefit referrals.

Jayne can meet with clients in their homes, or by phone, to do an assessment and help identify what referrals, resources, or options are available to improve day-to-day living. Prior to joining Meals on Wheels, Jayne worked as a Social Worker serving seniors in Larimer County for many years, and she has the ability to find just the right resources for our clients.

When a new client signs up for meals, a letter of introduction explaining the referral services as well as Jayne’s contact information is sent to all new clients, and to existing clients upon request.

It’s no secret our volunteer drivers build strong relationships with our clients. Many times they may be the only contact our clients have. If a client shares a difficulty, or observed to be struggling in some area of their lives, we ask that our drivers remind them that Jayne is available to help. If a client gives a driver verbal permission to share their name with our office, they will be referred to Jayne for assistance.

Jayne is also available to our volunteer drivers in the event there are any issues or concerns that may be surfacing with a client. She assists in devising strategies to address a situation or provide a listening ear.

Jayne says, “I am so grateful to be part of the Meals on Wheels team!” If you have any questions about Jayne’s services, please call 970.667.0311 or email: jayne@lovelandmealsonwheels.org.

We’re grateful to you, Jayne!

Volunteer Spotlight - Angie Hartman

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Angie Hartman
Volunteer Driver since 2011
Loveland resident since 2011

Angie and her husband Doug moved to Loveland in 2011. Angie immediately began volunteering with Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud, and has been a Friday volunteer driver ever since.

Angie says, “I have a love for volunteering and spending time with “my” clients. I enjoy keeping them company while delivering a nice hot meal, and taking that opportunity to check in on everyone.” On occasion, Angie has been known to go above and beyond the call of her delivery duties, and on her own time take a client to an appointment or pick up groceries for those that are home-bound.

“I am lucky. I get to hear some great stories - these are the stories of peoples’ lives. I deliver to one man who grew up in Europe. I love to hear him tell stories about what it was like and the traditions his family had,” said Angie.

We’re glad Angie has made a tradition of being a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud.

Thanks Angie!

Delivering Independence

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“How are things going?”

This is a question I am regularly asked by our volunteers and supporters. The answer is always “Things are great!” and there are a few reasons I can quickly respond that way. To start, former Executive Director Elizabeth Harless (and those before her) built an amazing agency during her 23 years at the helm. Secondly, everyone who works here is dedicated, knowledgeable, and fun to work with.

Most importantly, it is the volunteers and supporters that make Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud shine. Every day volunteers package and deliver nearly 300 meals to people in our community that need the food and personal connection. Every day a donation comes in that allows us to continue purchasing the food our volunteers deliver. Things are great!

Now I have the opportunity to look to the future - where we will be going? The senior population in Colorado is increasing by 6% every year, and in Larimer County the growth is even larger. People are calling it a “silver tsunami”. As our population continues to age, most people will need some type of support so they can remain independent in their home.
Delivering meals provides us the opportunity of daily contact with this potentially vulnerable population. We must continue to use this opportunity to provide a thorough wellness check and be able to recognize when our neighbors need additional support.

Our core service is, and will remain, delivering a nutritious meal, but there is more we can and must do. I am exploring enhanced services including a Wellness Beyond Nutrition program to help our clients receive all the support they need so they can remain in their homes as long as they choose. The only way we can do so is with continued support from the Loveland and Berthoud communities. I am confident with your support I will always be able to answer, “Things are great!” as we forge our way through the oncoming “silver tsunami”.

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Jeffrey Pomranka
Executive Director