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'Champions for Meals' week spotlights major needs of Meals on Wheels

FeedMore Western New York's Meals on Wheels program has fed more than 3,600 new clients since March 2020.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Some familiar faces will be delivering meals across Western New York this week, to bring light to the increased needs of FeedMore Western New York's Meals on Wheels program due to the pandemic. 

The home delivery program has more than 3,600 new clients since March 2020 alone, and during peak points of the pandemic, its volunteers were delivering almost 60 percent more meals a week than normal. 

Throughout 2020, it delivered 1.3 million meals to 5,500 homebound individuals in Erie and Niagara Counties.

During Champions for Meals week, government officials and community partners will be doing the drop-offs to interact with the clients, and help bring awareness to the program's critical need for new volunteers and donations. 

"We're really excited to come back in 2021 and continue this absolutely critical awareness event so we can get more people involved in Meals on Wheels," FeedMore Western New York's communications director, Catherine Shick, told 2 On Your Side. 

"Not only tell the story of meals on wheels for people who may be looking to volunteer or donate, but to spread awareness on the importance of the service in case there is a caregiver or client out there that really realizes that this service is perfect for them and they could really use it."

The visits accomplish two goals: providing nutritious meals, as well as a well-being check. 

"They are checking in on them, making sure that everything is okay in the house, that they're not disoriented, that they're not experiencing any sort of mental health or physical crisis," Shick said. "Our Meals on Wheels service is so much more than a meal, and In just an hour of that delivery as a Meals on Wheels volunteer, you can truly change someone's life for the better."

The following government officials and community partners will be participating in Champions for Meals Week, which runs from March 22 through March 26. 

New York State: 

  • Assemblywoman Monica Wallace

Erie County:

  • Legislator Chris Greene
  • Sheriff Tim Howard
  • Clerk Michael Kearns
  • Legislator John Mills
  • Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw
  • Commissioner of Senior Services David Shenk
  • Legislator Frank Todaro

Niagara County:

  • Undersheriff Michael Dunn
  • Sheriff Michael Filicetti
  • Chief Deputy Aaron Schultz
  • Deputy Chief Anthony Suess
  • Chief Deputy Patrick Weidel

City of Buffalo:

  • Mayor Byron Brown
  • Common Council Member Bryan Bollman
  • Common Council Member Joel Feroleto
  • Common Council Majority Leader David Rivera
  • Common Council President Pro Tempore Christopher Scanlon
  • Common Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr.

Municipalities

  • Cheektowaga Town Councilmember Christine Adamczyk
  • Aurora Town Supervisor James Bach
  • Angola Town Supervisor Mary Hosler
  • Holland Town Supervisor Michael Kasprzyk
  • Boston Town Supervisor Jason Keding
  • Mayor of Springville William Krebs
  • Cheektowaga Town Councilmember Brian Nowak
  • Cheektowaga Town Councilmember Brian Pilarski
  • Orchard Park Senior Center Director Debbie Santiago

Community Partners

  • Randy Hoak, Erie County Social Services Department
  • 97 Rock Radio Personality Chris Klein

To sign up to receive meals or volunteer, call 715-822-2002 or visit www.feedmorewny.org