Meals On Wheels Expanding To Serve Growing Baby Boomer Generation
The San Diego meals on wheels program has been serving seniors since the early 1970s. Besides food, it's also committed to reducing the isolation experienced by so many elderly. Now the organization is expanding to serve the growing baby boom generation.
Meals on wheels provides two meals a day for 2,300 seniors throughout San Diego County year-round.
Debbie Case, a longtime volunteer who is now CEO of the organization, sakd the elderly population is changing and they have to adapt.
"So many of our seniors are over the age of 85, about 49 percent. The largest growing percentage of the population. Then we have our Baby Boomers, and you know what, their tastes are totally different and we have to start responding to those needs," Case said.
Now begins the demolition work by volunteers, board members and the CEO on the old meal center, to make way for its new bigger kitchen. Case said it will provide clients more food choices.
"So that we can have multi-menus whether its healthy Latin cuisine, which we've just finally developed a six week plan on that. Or just regular healthy meals," she said.
Case said it will take about three months to complete the redesign, but they won't miss a day of service working through the construction process. From knocking out the small service kitchen, to converting piping, venting and electrical systems for a full commercial kitchen.
Paul Scott thinks the new menu options are great. He's one of the many volunteers who delivers meals to the elderly. "They often just chat for a little bit. It's also an opportunity for me to connect with them, see if there's anything unusual happening, that maybe I need to report or let people know," Scott said.
Sycuan Casino recently donated $5,000 worth of gas cards to Meals on Wheels. They were given to about 200 volunteers who spend their own money to drop off the meals.