FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Sam Marksheid, and Vicki DiStefano | (516) 869-7794
Supervisor Bosworth and County Executive Mangano join with EAC Network’s Meals on Wheels to Encourage Eligible Senior Residents to Sign Up for Program
Joining the cause are students from Hofstra University’s Center for Civic Engagement who are assisting with a door-to-door awareness campaign
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Council Member Viviana Russell and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano have joined together for a common purpose—to encourage North Hempstead senior residents who cannot shop or cook for themselves to sign up for EAC Network’s Meals on Wheels program. Since 1988, Meals on Wheels has been providing meals to homebound seniors and is the largest provider of the program in Nassau County. However, according to Meals on Wheels Senior Director Carol O’Neill, more outreach is needed into certain communities like New Cassel, Carle Place and Westbury, where the need is there, but participation is low.
“Meals on Wheels provides a simple and fundamental service to our homebound seniors – a smiling face and a nutritious meal,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “But the drivers and volunteers do more than just deliver a meal—they bring the outside world to seniors who live alone and are isolated. I am hopeful that through our outreach and education about the program that we can raise awareness and serve even more people who would benefit from the program.”
“I am proud to join with Supervisor Bosworth and the EAC Network to help spread awareness of the Meals on Wheels program,” said County Executive Mangano. “I thank all the volunteers who help deliver nutritious meals to homebound senior citizens.”
Helping the Town and County spread the word about the program and partnering with Meals on Wheels are a group of students from Hofstra University’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE). Under the supervision of Dr. Gregory Maney, Director for the CCE, the students are going door to door in low-participation neighborhoods and creating awareness about EAC Network’s Meals on Wheels.
“These students are putting what they learned at Hofstra into practice to make a difference in the world,” said Dr. Maney. “For this specific partnership, our students conducted research to identify organizations in New Cassel and other communities most likely to know home-bound seniors. They have also canvassed neighborhoods to spread the word about EAC’s Meals on Wheels Program. We couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Walking around and talking to the residents of North Hempstead solidified my belief that this program is not only needed, but welcomed,” said Hofstra student Ale Salardi. “At most of the houses I visited, even if they had no seniors living there to benefit from the program, residents made sure to let me know about a home that they thought might have someone that needed help. There was a heartwarming feel of camaraderie in the neighborhood and I could tell how everyone is concerned about what goes on and that people are taken care of. I believe this program will be very successful in the area, and hopefully it can help as many seniors as possible.”
“Meals on Wheels played a crucial role in the life of my aunt for many years before she passed away,” said Council Member Russell. “Having had first-hand experience with this program makes me even more proud to know that we are helping to help bring these resources into underutilized areas on the town, The collaboration between Hofstra University, EAC and the Town of North Hempstead is a great way to show how government and community-based organizations can work together to provide essential resources to our communities."
To be eligible for the Nassau County Meals on Wheels program, a person must be 60 years or older, a Nassau County resident and be unable to shop or cook for themselves and lack a local support system. Meals on Wheels currently serves 572 clients in Nassau County and 250 in North Hempstead, where 36% of the meals are delivered. The program will even supply pet food and observe birthdays with a cake and card.
“It’s a constant struggle to locate high risk seniors most in need of nutritious food,” said O’Neill. “Many live alone, without family or friends to help out and are isolated behind the doors of their homes. We count on neighbors, friends, and family members to help us identify these seniors. With their help, we can reach hundreds of isolated Nassau County seniors who live in the Town of North Hempstead.”
The average age of someone receiving Meals on Wheels is 85 years old; 75% are women who live alone; and 100% have three or more medical problems that keep them from shopping and cooking. The program is funded through the Nassau County Office for the Aging, the New York State Office for the Aging and the U.S. Administration on Aging.
For more information about Meals on Wheels call 516-539-0150 (Ext. 219).
North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth showcases the new posters that will help create awareness about the Meals on Wheels program. From left are Council Member Lee Seeman, Town Clerk Wayne Wink, Supervisor Bosworth, Council Member Viviana Russell; Meals on Wheels volunteer Dolores daily of Carle Place; volunteer Ann Mandaro of Westbury and John Heslin of Carle Place, president of the Carle Place Seniors.
North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, left, and Council Member Viviana Russell, center, deliver a meal to Carle Place resident Gloria Gregory.