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Tue, April 23

Meals on Wheels feeds 20 more seniors, thanks to $5k grant

Katie Kinon, vice president and manager of the Prescott Valley branch of Bank of America, center, hands a hot meal tray to PV Vice Mayor George Anderson as they pack a delivery bag for the CASA Meals on Wheels program Monday. Bank of America gave $5,000 to the MOW program to help supply meals to homebound seniors.<br>
Trib Photo/Sue Tone

Katie Kinon, vice president and manager of the Prescott Valley branch of Bank of America, center, hands a hot meal tray to PV Vice Mayor George Anderson as they pack a delivery bag for the CASA Meals on Wheels program Monday. Bank of America gave $5,000 to the MOW program to help supply meals to homebound seniors.<br> Trib Photo/Sue Tone

Twenty Prescott Valley homebound seniors on the waiting list for Meals on Wheels now receive a daily hot meal, thanks to a $5,000 grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the national Meals on Wheels organization.

"This money comes at a critical time as the need to help homebound and hungry seniors in the Prescott Valley area continues to grow," said Betty Robinson, CASA's executive director.

On Monday morning, Katie Kinon, vice president and manager of the Prescott Valley branch of Bank of America, saw firsthand the preparation process that makes MOW work. Kinon joined the CASA kitchen staff, PV Vice Mayor George Anderson, Councilman Harold Wise, and MOW drivers and volunteers in packing hot meals for delivery.

Administrative Assistant Mary Wise said the need for more drivers still exists. On Monday, two drivers were out sick and other volunteers covered their MOW routes.

The grant allows the CASA Senior Center to deliver about 1,000 more meals. Many MOW programs across the country need financial help as an increase in demand for services has occurred during the current economic downturn.

Over the past year, some MOW programs had to reduce their services, but the Bank of America Charitable Foundation stepped forward to help restore those meals. The foundation has provided a $500,000 grant to MOWAA, half of which is helping MOW programs across the country bring back meal services that had been cut.

"We're trying to get more active and do more grant writing," Councilman Wise said. "It takes a lot of time."

CASA took over the operation of the Senior Nutrition Program a year ago, which provides in-house dining and home-delivered meals to seniors. Prescott Valley seniors have come to rely on these programs, and many seniors were in jeopardy of losing these services, said Robinson.

During the first year, CASA served nearly 9,000 in-house congregate meals and volunteers drove more than 21,000 miles to deliver 20,000 meals to homebound seniors, she added.

However, because of economic conditions and the program's financial budget, about 20 homebound seniors with limited income had to wait for meal delivery.

"We were delighted to hear about this grant opportunity because it could provide just the financial 'jump start' we needed. Home-delivered meals and congregate dining are not just niceties, they are necessities, and literally can be lifesaving," Robinson said.

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