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Published on July 26th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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AMERICA, LET’S DO LUNCH™

Meals on Wheels America and the Ad Council launch national campaign to drive volunteers to help Senior Resources serve more Midlands seniors in need

COLUMBIA, SC – More than 10 million (1 in 6) seniors in the U.S. face the threat of hunger and more than 15 million (1 in 4) are living in isolation. In Richland County alone, more than 18,000 seniors face hunger, and more than 27,000 are isolated and live alone. This summer, Meals on Wheels America, in partnership with the Ad Council, has launched its first-ever national campaign to recruit volunteers to serve the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. With the senior population projected to double by 2050, Senior Resources is joining the effort to help inspire a new army of volunteers in Richland County to meet the growing need.

Every day, Senior Resources’ volunteers deliver 300 meals along with friendly visits and safety checks to those who need them most. For many seniors, the volunteer who delivers the meal is the only person they will see that day. The delivery isn’t just about nutrition; it’s about the moments of human connection that nourish the senior and the volunteer alike.  Senior Resources relies on an army of 800 volunteers to spend an hour delivering meals, typically between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., five days a week.

The national integrated public service campaign, created pro bono by the ad agency Anomaly, will invite America to “Do Lunch” by volunteering during the critical lunch hour to deliver meals and a smile to seniors. The TV, radio, print, out-of-home and digital public service advertisements (PSAs) tell the poignant stories of just a few of the 2.4 million seniors the national Meals on Wheels network serves each year, stories that celebrate their lives and show how inspiring, wise and charming they really are. To further highlight their stories, renowned celebrity photographer Mark Seliger – who has photographed some of our culture’s most famous faces from Kurt Cobain to President Obama – turned his lens to Meals on Wheels seniors and created a series of portraits for the campaign.

“We’re so excited to be working with Meals on Wheels programs across the country to launch this national effort on the ground,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “We hope that by sharing just a few of our seniors’ amazing and heartfelt stories, we can inspire even more volunteers to lend a caring hand to the growing number of aging neighbors in need.”

Senior Resources has a waiting list of nearly 300 seniors who have requested Meals on Wheels service, a number that is likely to continue growing as the aging population in Richland County increases.

“It is critical that we attract new donors and volunteers to work with us in our mission to make sure our seniors aren’t forgotten,” said Senior Resources Executive Director Pam Dukes. “We invite the entire community to ‘Do Lunch’ with us and make a tangible difference in the lives of local seniors.”

To learn more about Senior Resources, visit seniorresourcesinc.org or follow us on Facebook (SeniorResourcesInc) and Twitter (@SeniorRes_SC). To learn more about the “America, Let’s Do Lunch” campaign, and to sign up to volunteer, visit www.AmericaLetsDoLunch.org, or follow Meals on Wheels America on Facebook (MealsonWheelsAmerica), Twitter (@_MealsonWheels) or Instagram (mealsonwheelsamerica).

About Senior Resources, Inc.

Senior Resources is a non-profit organization that coordinates services, provides resources and encourages the personal choices that allow Columbia’s senior citizens to remain independent.  All activities, services and programs of the agency are geared toward promoting independent living, with the goal of helping seniors remain in their homes as long as possible through the support of staff and volunteers, and delaying or preventing institutionalization.

Since 1967, Senior Resources has served Columbia’s frail and elderly residents in three areas:

1) In-home services, including Meals on Wheels, home care, respite care, senior companion services, and case management;

2) Community-based services, including congregate meals, wellness centers, transportation, and physical fitness;

3) Volunteer services, including the Senior Companion program, Foster Grandparent program, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.

With local, state and federal government funding, as well as contributions from United Way, personal donations and fundraising activities, Senior Resources offers a variety of programs so that our clients can select the assistance they need to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle.

About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in 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.

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