SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Ca. — Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County (MOW), a program of Community Bridges, is participating in Community Champions Week, March 22-26, 2021. This event invites community leaders to participate in this nationwide campaign to raise awareness for services that give voice to seniors experiencing isolation, food insecurity and poverty.
Many Santa Cruz County elected officials have participated in past years by going on a delivery route or helping to serve meals at one of our senior dining sites. This year, MOW has adapted the event to ensure the all public health guidelines and safety protocols are followed.
Participants will caravan in their own personal vehicles following experienced volunteers on delivery routes and meet seniors outside their homes.
The following elected officials will be participating in the 2021 Community Champions week: Jack Dilles, Scotts Valley Mayor; Yvette Brooks, Capitola City Councilmember; Sandy Brown, Santa Cruz City Councilmember; Watsonville City Councilmembers Aurelio Gonzalez and Eduardo Montesino; and Rudy Lopez Sr., Watsonville Fire Chief. Sandy Brown will be participating in distribution of meals to houseless seniors at Louden Nelson Community Center at 11:15am on Thursday, March 25. In addition, MOW will be distributing a letter of appreciation from Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor, to his constituents in lieu of in person visits.
With senior dining sites closed and seniors needing to follow the stay-at-home orders, the number of seniors receiving home delivered meals increased rapidly, from the 395 seniors in February 2020 to nearly 700 seniors in May 2020. The program also added an additional breakfast meal to all deliveries during the past year.
Community Champions Week is a nationwide campaign by Meals on Wheels America to increase awareness and encourage support for senior nutrition needs and services. Participating organizations seek to highlight the importance of good nutrition and caring human contact on the lives of seniors in our community.
ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS FOR SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Since 1976, Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County, a program of Community Bridges, has served nearly 10 million meals to 65,000 local seniors in need. Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County serves 1,600 seniors in need each year with nutritious meals and caring human contact. The tireless work of this program— supported by a dedicated army of 200 volunteers—allows thousands of Santa Cruz County residents to remain healthy, safe, and independent in their own homes.
ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES
Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org. The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Child Development Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County.
ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA
Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.