‘Groceries for Seniors’ Provides Nutritious Food to County Residents at February 6 Event

Article written by Jeff Trewhitt and recently printed in the The Frederick County Guide.

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More than 90 Frederick County households, or 152 residents, received donated food from ‘Groceries for Seniors’ at the Frederick Senior Center on Friday, February 6.

A partnership of the Frederick County Department of Aging, the Western Maryland branch of the Maryland Food Bank and Seed of Life, Inc., the program provides groceries to qualified residents on the first Friday of every month at the Frederick Senior Center, 1440 Taney Ave., from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

A key goal of Groceries for Seniors is to provide more vegetables and foods with proteins, which are often the most expensive products in stores.  Such nutritious foods can also be difficult to obtain at food banks, which often provide products loaded with carbohydrates. The program will provide fresh seasonal produce when available, as well as canned goods and other products. Although the available food varies at each event, one might find canned sliced carrots, canned spaghetti sauce, canned salmon, milk, and orange juice among the items to take home. Continue reading

Department of Aging Confronts Increasing Workload in 21st Century

This is the first in a series of articles about the Department of Aging and the staffers that meet its daily challenges.  The articles will spotlight some of the challenges and profile key DOA workers.  

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What a difference 15 years makes.

Around 2000, the Frederick County Department of Aging’s Meals on Wheels program had only four routes.  Today, there are 16 and plans to add more.  A decade-and-a-half ago, DOA’s primary responsibility was serving the needs of people over 60. Since then, the clientele has been expanded to include adults over 18 with physical and developmental disabilities.

The number of Frederick County residents assisted by the department has risen from about 1,000 people 15 years ago to more than 5,200 last year at a time when budgets have shrunk and staff has been reduced.

Coping with limited resources and the need to help many more people — and the number is continuing to rise — is a constant challenge for DOA Director Carolyn True, Community Services Manager Kitty Devilbiss and the people who work for them.  “We’re a department that is now spread very thin,” said True.  “We’re doing a whole lot more with a whole lot less.  We make it work, but it has its challenges.”

True, who started with the Frederick County Department of Aging as assistant director in 1997, has been coping with her agency’s growing challenges from the beginning.  She said her job has gone from being fairly predictable with more time to get things done to unpredictable.  “It would be nice to say there’s an average day, [but] I don’t have [one],” she added.  “No day is ever the same here.  I learn something new every day.”  Continue reading

Celebrating National Volunteer Month with Breakfast

During April 2015, you can celebrate Lima Bean Respect Day on April 20, Talk Like Shakespeare Day on April 23, or any of these other 17 Offbeat Holidays…But, every day of April, you can celebrate National Volunteer Month!

On the morning of Wednesday, April 8, the the FCDOA celebrated the service and dedication of our Meals on Wheels volunteers by inviting them to a breakfast buffet hosted by Homewood at Crumland Farms, one of the kitchens that also provides Meals on Wheels meals for 4 of the 18 current routes. Homewood provided a splendid spread of scrambled eggs, biscuit and chipped beef gravy, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, and fruit.

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Volunteers enjoyed their breakfast in Homewood’s beautifully decorated room while reveling in the opportunity to speak with other Meals on Wheels volunteers throughout the county. It was a blissful and upbeat morning! Continue reading

2015 March for Meals Community Champions

During our 2015 March for Meals Campaign, we asked local representatives from the County Government, the Commission on Aging and the Senior Needs Leadership Team to help us raise awareness about the Meals on Wheels program of Frederick County. We had the privilege of having 12 representatives ride along with our Meals on Wheels volunteers to deliver meals to Frederick County’s older adults and adults with disabilities. By participating in our campaign, we can now call them our Community Champions!

For many, it was their first time delivering Meals on Wheels. But others have had a deep connection with Meals on Wheels by volunteering for different programs in the past.

A great group before heading off to deliver meals! Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, Dave (MoW Volunteer), Jim (MoW Volunteer), Carol (Commission on Aging Chair), Lynn (MoW Volunteer), Sgt. Courtney (MoW Volunteer)
A great group before heading off to deliver meals! Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, Dave (MoW Volunteer), Jim (MoW Volunteer), Carol (Commission on Aging Chair), Lynn (MoW Volunteer), Sgt. Courtney (MoW Volunteer)

Continue reading

Senior Citizens with Inadequate Food Have More Than Doubled: Programs Like Meals on Wheels Are Dedicated to Fighting the Problem

Meals on Wheels programs all over the United States, including  one in Frederick County,  have taken on one of the nation’s most pressing challenges — older Americans who don’t get enough nutritious food.

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MoW programs all over America are trying to help the nation provide balanced daily diets to the growing number of homebound seniors who lack adequate food.  According to studies conducted in recent years, the number of elderly Americans unable to obtain enough food more than doubled between 2001 and 2011, and in 2011, 4.8 million seniors — 8.4 percent of the senior citizen population — faced not having sufficient diets.*  Continue reading

Annual Meals on Wheels Campaign Highlights Need for Volunteers, Donations

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Hundreds of Meals on Wheels (MoW) programs in communities all over the country are participating this month in the 13th Annual March for Meals campaign to raise greater awareness and support for MoW.

This effort, led by Meals on Wheels America, involves seeking donations and volunteers in outreach to county and local governments, businesses, service organizations and individual residents who may become volunteers.  In Frederick County, the Department of Aging is contacting county and municipal government officials all over the county.

A highlight of the local month-long promotional effort will be Community Champion Week March 16-20 when community leaders accompany volunteers during meal deliveries to learn why the program is so important to homebound elderly and disabled recipients. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day 2015 at the FCDoA <3

Do you know the value of a homemade card from someone you love? It’s priceless.

What about the value of a homemade card from a stranger? Equally priceless. And we can confirm this price tag from our Meals on Wheels clients, who received valentines from caring members of the community this past Friday, February 13, along with their daily meals.

This past Friday, our volunteers helped to deliver 3 beautiful valentines to each of our Meals on Wheels clients. For an entire week, several envelopes and hand-delivered boxes of cards poured into the office from clubs and individuals in Maryland and Pennsylvania wanting to spread some holiday joy to our clients. Continue reading