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JFS Delivers Meals on Wheels to Seniors in New Partnership with JARC

For over seventeen years. Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service (JFS) has been helping alleviate hunger in South Palm Beach County. Now, with a growing population of low-income and other local seniors having difficulty getting adequate nutrition at home, JFS has responded by developing a new Meals on Wheels Program.

“For more and more seniors, adequate nutrition has become a luxury,” said Danielle Hartman, President & CEO of JFS. “Many are outliving their resources, and recent large cuts to federal nutrition programs such as meals on wheels are making the situation more dire.”

“In addition, as they advance in age, a large number of our neighbors become unable to cook because of functional limitations,” continued Hartman. “Yet the prepared foods they must rely upon are likely to be inappropriate for their nutritional needs or dangerous given their health concerns.”

The new JFS Meals on Wheels Program provides nutritionally balanced meals to allow seniors to age in their homes safely for as long as possible. Packed in microwave-safe containers, all meals are low sodium, kosher and include a protein and side dishes. Dedicated volunteers deliver the meals weekly.

The program is based on a proven model. From the National Survey of Older Americans participating in the Meals on Wheels program, the Meals on Wheels Association of America reported that 85% of clients say Meals on Wheels helps them eat healthier, 87% say Meals on Wheels helps them improve their health, and 93% say Meals on Wheels means they can continue to live in their own home.

“Through the JFS Meals on Wheels program, JFS and our partners are combating senior hunger, and empowering seniors to not only survive, but thrive,” said Hartman. “In addition, participants are connected to the JFS family and can access a variety of other programs and services to enhance and improve their quality of life.”

“For my 93-year-old parents, remaining independent in their own apartment is critical to their quality of life,” said Andrea Schuver, whose parents live near her home in Boca Raton. “With their health issues including my dad’s very low vision, they managed for some time by eating meals from restaurants and other prepared foods. But when the sodium in the prepared foods led to a health crisis, it became absolutely critical that my father drastically change his diet.”

“Fortunately, I knew that the JFS Meals on Wheels program was just getting started,” continued Schuver. “The meals are wholesome, delicious, familiar, very reasonably priced and seemingly home-cooked. Most important, my parents are able to maintain their cherished life at home.”

While Schuver’s parents pay the full $7.00 per meal which includes delivery by dedicated volunteers, financial subsidy is available to those who qualify, thanks to support from JFS, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and private donors.

JFS offers the Meals on Wheels Program in partnership with the Jewish Association for Residential Care (JARC), where the meals are prepared. JARC provides adults with developmental disabilities an array of services including a culinary vocational day training program.

“We at JARC are delighted to once again collaborate with our colleagues at JFS to provide an essential service to our community,” said Dr. Debra Hallow, Executive Director of JARC. “JARC and JFS provide life-sustaining programs for the most vulnerable among us. Working together furthers the missions and impact of both organizations in South Palm Beach County. There is no better synergy than this.”

“Our Federation is privileged to support this partnership of two vital agencies that have come together to address one of the most poignant needs in our Jewish community,” said Matthew Levin, Federation President & CEO. “Together, we are seeing that our elderly neighbors are nourished with excellent meals, warmth and dignity. Meals on Wheels is a wonderful example of how, together, our agencies, synagogues, schools, organizations and individuals are building and sustaining a strong, caring, vibrant Jewish South Palm Beach County.”

For more information about the JFS Meals on Wheels Program or to volunteer, please call (561) 852-3333 or email info@ruthralesjfs.org. Donations in support of this program can be made online at www.ruthralesjfs.org or by calling (561) 852-3333.

Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service (JFS) offers help, hope and humanity through a comprehensive range of programs and services which support people of all ages and beliefs. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, JFS programs and services include food and financial assistance, senior services, counseling and mental health services and many volunteer opportunities. Funding is provided by private and corporate support, grants, special events and individuals who reach thousands in need each year. For more information, contact (561) 852-3333 or visit www.ruthralesjfs.org.

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