For Immediate Release
Reno, Nevada. Feb. 6, 2014. Beginning Feb. 10, Washoe County Senior Services Home Delivered Meals clients will be offered a second daily meal.
WHO: Senior Services currently provides 7 lunch meals a week to 450 seniors and expects as many as 200 people to take advantage of the additional breakfast meal as more than a third of seniors say the County provides their only meal of the day.
WHAT: Since 1992, Senior Services has provided approximately 220,000 meals for Washoe County seniors each year, which has not kept pace with the population growth or the needs of homebound seniors. The addition of breakfast will increase the number of meals served by about 50,000 per year and that will be the first substantive increase in over 20 years.
WHERE: Washoe County Senior Center, 1155 E. Ninth Street in Reno.
WHEN: Media is invited to ride along with Senior Services Monday, Feb. 10, to interview seniors receiving the second meal. Reporters should be at the Washoe County Senior Center by 8:30 a.m. to view the packaging of meals, the loading of trucks, interview drivers and staff and may accompany a driver to clients' homes.
WHY: "In Nevada, 18.8 percent of seniors are marginally food-insecure, which is the fourth worst percentage in the nation," said Senior Services Director Grady Tarbutton. "Many depend on our congregate or Home Delivered Meals as their only reliable nutrition and 37 percent of seniors that receive them say it is their only meal of the day. As the County's population ages, which demographically is a permanent change, it is essential to consider the needs of the most vulnerable."
SENIORS SHOULD CONTACT: Seniors 60 and older who are interested in qualifying for the program should call Senior Services at (775) 328-2581. All future clients will be offered a second meal when determined eligible. Any client may request a second meal or cancel it at any time.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The meals served by Senior Services meet the USDA's standard of one-third the recommended daily allowance for seniors and all menus are prepared by a registered dietician. The meals are planned, served and delivered by Valley Services, the WCSS nutrition contractor.
The second Home Delivered Meal is a collaborative project of Washoe County Senior Services and Washoe County Social Services, and is an example of the County's proposed single Human Services Agency's strategies, which will coordinate the continuum of County Social Services across the life spans of residents.
Tarbutton said the County's Master Plan for Aging Services, which includes a random sample survey of seniors and strategies developed with local stakeholders, has identified "Senior Nutrition" as one of twelve priorities necessary to help seniors "age in place."
Editor's note: Media is invited to ride along with WCSS Monday, Feb. 10, to interview seniors receiving the second meal. Reporters should be at the Washoe County Senior Center, 1155 E. Ninth Street in Reno, by 8:30 a.m. to view the packaging of meals, the loading of trucks, interview drivers and staff and may accompany a driver to clients' homes.