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Dried-up pandemic funding means fewer Meals on Wheels for senior citizens, Colorado Springs organization says

Nonprofit Silver Key is asking for driver volunteers
Helping senior citizens in the Pikes Peak region feel less lonely
Posted at 8:11 AM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-18 10:11:33-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Silver Key Senior Services says their Meals on Wheels program has had to scale back due to a lack of government funding and volunteers. The nonprofit says they currently serve 200 seniors for free with an additional 17 seniors on a waiting list.

Meals On Wheels involves volunteer drivers visiting seniors to deliver multiple meals they can heat up and enjoy over time. The organization says it's important for seniors, not just because of the nutrition they receive, but also for the companionship it provides.

"So our seniors really benefit from the meals on wheels, not only the nutrition that we can provide, but it's also a touchpoint for interactions, to have someone check on them and make sure that things are going okay," Jaime McMullen Garcia, the chief development officer for the nonprofit said.

Over the last 4 years, the need for services has gone up, Silver Key reported. In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, they were able to serve more than 162,000 meals for free to seniors. Yet in the 2022-2023 year, that number has fallen to just over 112,000. The organization attributes this to reduced COVID-19 pandemic government funding.

Right now, there are 17 seniors on the waitlist for the Meals on Wheels program. That's because Silver Key wants to make sure if someone is receiving help, they can continue to do so without worry.

"That's what we need to do, put our clients on these waitlists, is really make sure that the people who can't get out to get food are getting our services first," Mcullen Garcia said.

To find out more on how to volunteer for the nonprofit, visit their website for more information.

Silver Key says dried-up COVID funding means fewer Meals on Wheels for seniors