Providing Vital Community Connections
Meals On Wheels
Meals on Wheels America and the American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services entered into a formal partnership to identify homebound seniors, provide feeding services and bolster disaster preparedness activities. This partnership was announced in celebration of Older Americans Month (May), which recognizes older Americans for their contributions to the nation and reminds us all that they should not be forgotten.
Meals on Wheels America and the Red Cross will collaborate both nationally and locally by participating in preparedness activities, such as fire safety campaigns, response drills and exercises in local communities. They will also act as a referral for the location of homebound individuals during disaster response and recovery and assist with feeding and meal delivery when possible.
Both Meals on Wheels America and Red Cross encourage its local members and chapters to engage in discussions and develop local activities that will better prepare the community to react during times of disaster.
About Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
The NAACP has been a partner of the American Red Cross since 1981. NAACP volunteers partner with the American Red Cross in the event of a major disaster. In addition, they engage in preparedness discussions and other activities with Disaster Partnerships.
During the response to the Alabama Spring Tornadoes in 2011, the American Red Cross invited the NAACP to establish a shared command center within our Red Cross relief operations headquarters in Birmingham. This partnership demonstrated to our clients and the public a shared commitment to ensure effective and inclusive service delivery.
The NAACP team of state leaders, volunteers and staff was able to provide critical situational awareness regarding the unmet needs in potentially underserved and/or isolated communities, as well as facilitate interaction with diverse communities that were perhaps reluctant to dialogue with the Red Cross and others from the disaster response community.
As a result of this collaborative and innovative effort, the Alabama Red Cross was chosen to receive an Alabama State Conference of the NAACP Partner of the Year Award for 2011. We wish to congratulate the Alabama Red Cross for receiving this award, and extend our appreciation to the NAACP for their continued support in helping us help those affected by disaster in their time of need.