Photo caption: Jana Barnello, reporter for WGME 13, delivering meals prepared by Celebrity Chefs to guests attending Spectrum Generations MOW Celebrity Challenge at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath on Sept. 25. This is just one of the fundraisers that made it possible for Spectrum Generations to offset budget cuts to its Meals on Wheels program.
Spectrum Generations is pleased to announce that our current Meals on Wheels (MOW) wait list is now at zero and we are is reinstating MOW deliveries back to two days a week as of the beginning of fiscal year 2014 – October 1, 2013. This was made possible through rebalancing our congregate and home delivered meal ratio, reducing food costs, reaping the benefits of efficiencies tested in our production and delivery process, and extensive fundraising and the generosity of the public.
Last spring Spectrum Generations was forced to reduce its MOW deliveries to homebound seniors and disabled adults to one day per week due to a cut of $83.583 in federally mandated sequestration cuts to its senior nutrition program. Budget cuts also forced Spectrum Generations to have a MOW wait list for the first time in 40 years. In fiscal year 2014, Spectrum Generations will feel an additional $39,064 in cuts, for a total of $122.647 cuts due to sequestration.
During this one delivery, consumers still received five meals for the week (one hot meal and four frozen meals) providing them with the nutrition they need to stay healthy and live independently in their own homes - however, we lost the ability to check in with them twice a week and ascertain their well-being.
Even though deliveries will resume to two days a week and the wait list has been reset to zero for now, sequestration budget cuts will still be a threat to the program until 2021. Internally, Spectrum Generations financially supports MOW with proceeds from its Cohen on the Meadows Catering and Bridges Home Care divisions.
Fundraisers also play a huge role in filling the gap of the reduced Older American’s Act funding. The Sukeforth Family annual Pig Roast & Auction raised $38,000 to support MOW, and our annual MOW Golf Tournament brought in another $12,000. On Sept. 25 our newest fundraising event, the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Challenge held at the Bath Maine Maritime Museum, raised $13,000 to support MOW. Generous community businesses and individuals also stepped up to the plate to donate money to cover the cost of MOW for a number of people on our wait list.
According to Gerard Queally, President & CEO of Spectrum Generations, “We feel strongly that the Meals on Wheels program has a positive effect on people’s health and well-being and helps to reduce the overall cost of healthcare. It is important to take healthcare seriously, to keep people out of hospitals and make it possible to stay in their homes where they want to be.”
To continue to help offset these cuts, Spectrum Generations continues to look for new ways to support this important program. There are many ways you can help; sponsor a MOW route, monetary donation, remember us in your will, or volunteer your time.
For more information, call 1-800-639-1553.