Thanks to the help and generosity of the eastern Iowa public, The Heritage Area Agency on Aging, along with corporate sponsors, were able to raise enough money to distribute more than 20,000 additional nutritious meals to those seniors most frail and at-risk in the region.
Heritage raised $100,200 over the weekend with its “Fill the Plate” campaign that included a telethon on KCRG 9.2.
“This money is going directly towards feeding seniors in our region,” said Tim Getty, Heritage’s Nutrition and Healthy Living program coordinator. “The support from the community for ‘Feed the Plate’ was unparalleled. We’ve never had a donation drive come close to this type of success.”
In addition to the live telethon, local Fareway grocery stores hosted a “Fill the Plate” food drive on Saturday, Dec. 1. Groceries filling more than 55 shopping carts were donated, valued at more than $15,000.
Last year, in partnership with local providers, Heritage provided 490,000 home-delivered and congregate meals to low-income seniors in eastern Iowa. Funding for the program has not kept pace with increasing operating costs and the expanding needs of seniors. Because of this, Heritage expected to cut the number of meals it helps fund by 83,000 this year.
There is still a shortage of funds for more than 60,000 meals for this year and donations continue to be accepted to reduce this number even further. Those interested can visit www.kirkwood.edu/filltheplate or call 1-800-332-3934.
“This is a great beginning to secure the funds to help reduce the amount meals that would have to be eliminated due to the funding shortfall, but we need to continue looking to the community for support,” added Getty.
The Heritage Agency, a department of Kirkwood Community College since 1971, works to plan, fund and advocate for older adults, their families and caregivers in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Washington counties. For more information, call 319-398-5559 or visit www.involvementonline.org.