Buffalo, N.Y. - Meals on Wheels of Western New York has reached a big milestone. On Thursday, the organization served its 25 millionth meal - becoming the second Meals on Wheels of 5,000 across the country to serve that many meals; second to only New York City.
And while the organization is celebrating the big moment, it also understands what a milestone like this one means.
"It's good news and bad news," said Tara Ellis, CEO & President of Meals on Wheels of Western New York. "We think it's a good thing because it shows, that over our 43 year history, we've made a tremendous impact on the community's home-bound seniors. On the flip-side, our need is continuing to grow, which means more of our seniors are isolated, more need to age in place. And that means more meals need to be served."
Meals on Wheels of Western New York provides two nutritiously-balanced meals a day to 2,000 seniors across the region. The organization relies on volunteers to help get those meals delivered.
"Our volunteers are the life and soul of Meals on Wheels," said Ellis. "We have 1,500 volunteers who are out in the rain, sleet and snow to make sure our clients get the nutrition that they need and that they're safe."
In celebration of its 25 millionth meal, Meals on Wheels of Western New York is also kicking off a new fundraising campaign; a 25 million penny fundraiser. The organization has placed jugs at local businesses and schools, and is urging people to donate their loose change. Money raised will help provide more meals for seniors across Western New York.
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, or setting up a penny jug at your business or school, you can contact Meals on Wheels at (716) 822-2002.