2022 Gifts Given by GAF

GAF Presents Funds to Support Meals on Wheels

More than 100 of Leisure World’s most vulnerable residents got some much-needed help to stay healthy during COVID-related restrictions, thanks to the Golden Age Foundation.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, the GAF, known for supporting all manner of helpful programs in LW, has contributed over $100,000 to support local Meals on Wheels programs. These programs provide isolated residents with nourishing meals and visits from friendly volunteers.

Last week, the GAF gave another $31,500 to Meals on Wheels of Long Beach and Orange County to help residents fight food insecurity. 

Since March 2020, Meals on Wheels of Long Beach has delivered over 94,800 freshly prepared meals to LW residents. 

MOWLB began serving LW residents in 2013. Over the past eight years, the service has steadily grown. MOWOC began service in 2006 in Leisure World.  The two programs are separate but they mirror each other in services provided.

About 120 LW residents receive two freshly prepared meals—a hot dinner, complete lunch, dessert and beverage—every weekday. Trained volunteers deliver meals and spend a little time with clients who are often isolated and alone. 

The goal is to help everyone remain safe, socially connected and well-nourished at home for as long as possible.

The programs are available to all LWers who are having difficulty cooking or shopping for meals due to an illness, recent surgery or are homebound due the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations from the GAF are directed to the neediest residents in Leisure World, covering the daily fee for qualified, low-income residents.

Bill Cruikshank joined MOWLB in 2010 as operations director and has served as executive director since 2013. He began his nonprofit career over 40 years ago, working in administration with chemical dependency treatment and job training programs for adults and youth.

Darla Olson is vice president, advancement, of MOWOC. She reports that the nonprofit has been erasing hunger and isolation for at-risk older adults for 54 years. Its overall goals are combating the three biggest threats to this group: malnourishment, isolation and loss of independence.

Older adults make up the fastest growing age group in Orange County, and by 2050, residents over 65 will account for nearly 25 percent of the county’s entire population, according to MOWOC.

In recent years, an alarming 29 percent of low-income older adults in Orange County have reported being food insecure, according to a 2016-2018 California Health Interview Survey.

Of all MOWOC clients, 77 percent live at or below the federal poverty level, 60 percent are disabled, and 52 percent live alone.

The MOW programs are grateful to the Golden Age Foundation for its partnership and support in providing the valuable service to their neighbors.

“No one should go hungry in our wonderful community,” said GAF President Anna Derby. 

If you or someone you know is having an issue getting food, call Robann Arshat, GRF member resources liaison, at (562) 431-6586, ext. 317, for help.

For more information about the MOWLB program, visit MOWLB.org or call Caron Adler at (562) 439-5000, ext. 1.