NewsHealth / May 28, 2014

Marking Millions Of Healthy Meals For Local Seniors

Jill Sheridan

Virginia and Melvin are two of the more than 500 Indianapolis residents who receive healthy meals every day from Meals and Wheels.  On Tuesday, they were also they were also the recipients of the program’s seven millionth meal delivery in Central Indiana. 

Virginia says they started having food delivered last year when she could no longer shop as easily and her diet became stricter.

"I'm on a salt free diet due to a triple bypass surgery," explains Virginia.

Her husband Melvin, who is diabetic, usually cooks something healthy for breakfast, like oatmeal, but Virginia was in charge of lunch and dinner and she says she needed help.

"The salt and sodium, I have to measure it, it has to be just right, or it will take me down," says Virginia, "and I could not have done it and we needed someone that really was experienced."

Barb Renshaw, communications director for Meals on Wheels, says volunteers deliver well-balanced meals for homebound people with all sorts of nutritional needs. 

"Our food is physician prescribed so we can accomodate theraputic diets like heart healthy, low sodium, diabetic, gluten free, lactose free," explains Renshaw.

At only $6 a day for two meals, the service can be help older Americans on fixed incomes.  Meals on Wheels says that half of all seniors at risk for food insecurity have incomes above the poverty line. 

It's also a growing problem for the state, a report last week by United Health Foundation finds that the number of food insecure seniors in Indiana rose nearly 3 percent in the past year. 



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