Partnership will supplement Meals on Wheels deliveries with fresh fruit and vegetables
(Urbanna, VA) – Bay Aging and Healthy Harvest Food Bank are partnering to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to Bay Aging’s Meals on Wheels recipients. The partnership launched on a pilot basis Friday, June 28th, with weekly deliveries of sweet corn, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, pears, grapes, apples, watermelon and more to supplement Meals on Wheels being delivered to Richmond and Essex County residents. As distribution logistics are worked out, the partnership will be expanded across most of Bay Aging’s ten county service area.
In 2018, Bay Aging staff and Meals on Wheels volunteers delivered over 166,000 nutritious meals to frail, homebound seniors throughout the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. Meal deliveries also include friendly visits and safety checks from the volunteers and staff.
Kathy Vesley, Bay Aging’s President and CEO, welcomes the new partnership with Healthy Harvest. “We are excited to launch this pilot and supplement our Meals on Wheels deliveries with fresh fruit and vegetables. Almost every county we serve has a rapidly growing senior population and, in many cases, Meals on Wheels deliveries are the only way these seniors can continue to live independently in their own homes. For example, by next year, Lancaster County will be 37 percent age 65 or older and by 2030 more than 40 percent of the county’s population will be age 65 or older. We have to plan ahead to ensure we have the resources and infrastructure in place to effectively serve our growing customer base.”
Jennifer Beck, Bay Aging’s Director, Community Living Programs, manages the Meals on Wheels program. “We are thankful to Healthy Harvest for the generous support they are providing. We also want to recognize the nearly 800 volunteers who help us distribute meals every week. Without these volunteers we could not reach as many people as demand dictates.”
About Bay Aging:
For over 40 years, Bay Aging has been caring for older adults and people with disabilities in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula with meals, home and personal care, public transportation, home repairs and living options. Our goal is to help people live independently in their own homes and communities surrounded by their own things and, wherever possible, their families and friends. Our top priority is to keep independence, home and community at the hub of life in the rural counties we serve.
Last year Bay Aging’s services affected over 26,000 lives! Every year, we:
People want to age safely in their homes and communities. To help them realize this goal, Bay Aging’s Housing Division owns and operates ten income-restricted senior apartment complexes throughout the region providing safe and affordable homes for 365 full-time residents. Additionally, residents benefit from receiving the social supports they need to ensure healthy, independent living.
Bay Aging’s health division provides in-home care and companionship services and transitional care services for recently discharged at-risk, chronically ill patients through our VAAACares® program. Adult day care provides a safe haven for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other disabilities so that they can thrive and live with their families longer. The award-winning Veterans Directed Care program provides essential support services for nursing home eligible veterans of all ages who want to continue living at home.
About Healthy Harvest Food Bank:
The Northern Neck Food Bank began in the back of a pickup truck in 2008, assisting area pantries with the transport of food from Central Virginia Food Bank in Richmond to the Northern Neck. In 2010 the Northern Neck Food Bank became a 501(c)3 organization and began officially working with FeedMore/Central Virginia Food Bank as an RDO (Re-distribution Organization) representing the four counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Middlesex.
In 2012 the food bank surveyed over 5,000 clients and found that 32% of the households being served have a member with Type I or II diabetes. In response to this, the focus of the food bank immediately shifted to acquiring the most nutritious food available and the Agricultural Program was developed, quickly becoming the food bank’s signature program.
In 2014 the counties of Essex and Westmoreland/Colonial Beach were added to the distribution area.
In 2017, as part of the food bank’s strategic plan, the staff and board of directors worked together to develop a new name that not only represents the communities served but effectively encompasses the goal of providing healthier food options through the Agricultural Program. In early 2018, the Northern Neck Food Bank became Healthy Harvest Food Bank. The new name is a reflection of the evolving focus and standards of the organization.
Today Healthy Harvest Food Bank is an independently operated PDO (Partner Distribution Organization) of Feed More, Inc. serving the six counties of Essex, Lancaster, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland, including Colonial Beach. The produce acquired through the Agricultural Program is first distributed in the 6-county service area and the remainder is then distributed throughout central, western and southeast Virginia. For more information on Healthy Harvest Food Bank, visit http://www.hhfb.org.