Meals On Wheels of Northampton County Receives Award In Recognition of “Better Fresh Project”
In 2010, after completing a rigorous application and site review process by Meals On Wheels America, we were awarded “Exemplary Status” Magnet Accreditation for our outstanding senior nutrition program.
Meals On Wheels of Northampton County is pleased and honored to receive The Pennsylvania Department of Aging Award for Best Practice in Nutrition for Older Pennsylvanians. The award recognizes the importance and impact of the Better Fresh Project which Meals On Wheels launched three years ago. The project involves developing and sustaining partnerships with local farms to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits to incorporate in meals that are prepared and delivered to homebound older and disabled adults as well as senior centers in the community.
Better Fresh has received support from United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and many private and corporate foundations to help cover the cost of fresh produce and much needed food service equipment. “Those who enjoy the benefits of eating meals that are prepared with fresh produce include our own clients as well as those who are served through our meal contracts with Meals On Wheels of Lehigh County, Meals On Wheels of Monroe County, Meals On Wheels in Warren County and the Senior Centers in Lehigh County. In total we prepare over 2,000 meals per day, over 525,000 meals annually,” states JoAnn Nenow, Executive Director.
The Better Fresh Project gives homebound older adults equal access to fresh vegetables and fruits as their more active and mobile peers who can purchase these items at community markets. Local produce has the highest nutritional yield. It offers a safe food source and does not require transport over long distances, conserving on fossil fuel and energy costs. Purchase of locally grown produce helps to insure that Lehigh Valley family farms continue to thrive.
More importantly, the project helps to raise the bar with respect to the nutritional level of meals delivered to grateful older adults. As many as 95% express their overall satisfaction with their meals and 65% indicate that they would not otherwise have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Meals On Wheels maintains their partnership with the local, “Buy Fresh Buy Local” initiative as a means to help preserve and support farms in our region.
Meals on Wheels of Northampton County is a private not for profit organization serving older and disabled adults residing in Northampton County.