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N E W S SUMMER 2013

More Seniors Live in Poverty I n T his I ssue

Gifts to Meals on Wheels People Help Seniors See page 2

Walk With Ease Keeps Seniors Fit See pages 4 & 5

Green Thumbs Bring Garden to Meals on Wheels Senior See pages 7 & 8

Marion is homebound and relies on friends and neighbors to do her shopping for her. She receives Meals on Wheels, which ensures that she is eating at least one nutritious meal per day, but the rest of her diet is not as wholesome. Because of her limited income, she rarely buys fresh produce and turns to processed and packaged food because of the low cost. Marion is not alone. Information compiled by the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) shows that 1 in 7 seniors struggle with hunger. Our recent client surveys reveal that nearly 25 percent of the seniors we serve live at or below poverty, up from 6.8 percent in 2009. And for 12 percent of those seniors, the meal we bring them is their only food of the day. Poverty among seniors is a growing concern. For many seniors, their retirement income was invested in real estate or the stock market, or they are subsisting on income from social security. The financial crisis of 2008 was devastating to these seniors and those that thought they would spend their retirement years pursuing hobbies, are now calculating ways to make ends meet on a very limited income. And the largest increase in poverty has been for seniors between the ages of 60 and 69, many of whom

were laid off during the recession and either did not find work or found work at a reduced salary. According to a recent story that appeared in the Huffington Post, about 70 percent of citizens living below the poverty line have experienced an acute health condition such as cancer, lung disease, heart problems or stroke — compared to 48 percent of people who are not in poverty. The causality works both ways: Being poor can make you sick, and being sick can make you poor. Meals on Wheels provides onethird of the RDA for seniors. The meal delivered by volunteers is often what allows homebound seniors to remain independent and living in their own homes, a far better option for most seniors than institutional care. NASUAD’s survey stated that 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own home and 92 percent of those surveyed said Meals on Wheels allowed them to live at home longer. How can you help? It costs a little less than $4 to prepare and deliver a meal to a homebound senior. Your gift of $55 will provide a senior with two weeks of meals. Consider making a donation today by visiting mealsonwheelspeople.org. 


Meals on Wheels Donor Leaves Substantial Gift Marguerite Cianchetta lived quite frugally and made modest gifts to Meals on Wheels People over the years; $10 here, $15 there. Over the last 15 years, her gifts totaled less than $500. But when Marguerite died earlier this year, she left $178,000 to Meals on Wheels People. We were one of several beneficiaries of her estate. Marguerite never received Meals on Wheels, but believed we did good work and wanted to give Meals on Wheels People a gift that would continue to provide hot meals to seniors long after her death. You might find yourself in the same circumstance as Marguerite. You would like to make a

substantial gift to Meals on Wheels People, but do not currently have the means to do so. If you own your own home or have other assets, consider remembering Meals on Wheels People in your will in the form of a bequest. You can leave a valuable legacy gift to ensure that every senior who asks for a meal receives one. For information on how you can include Meals on Wheels People in your will or estate plan, contact our Chief Development Officer Dev Dion at dev.dion@ mealsonwheelspeople.org or call 503.953.8133. 

Gift Opportunities Available for Donors IRA Rollover

The 2012 American Tax Relief Act allows individuals to direct their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from their IRA to a qualified charity, such as Meals on Wheels People. To qualify, individuals must be 70½ or older and can rollover up to $100,000 of their RMD to a charity they support. There are tax benefits. For tax reporting, it equates to a wash. Donors do not declare the distribution as income, nor do

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they receive a tax deduction for the contribution.

Donor Advised Fund

If you have a donor advised fund at Oregon Community Foundation or other similar organizations, please remember Meals on Wheels People. You can request that distributions be directed to Meals on Wheels People.

Charitable Gift Annuities A charitable gift annuity allows

you to make a gift to Meals on Wheels People while receiving an income stream during your lifetime. It’s an easy way to make a meaningful gift while receiving monthly income. For more information on how you can make a gift to Meals on Wheels People using any of these donation instruments, please contact Chief Development Officer Dev Dion at dev.dion@ mealsonwheelspeople.org or call 503.953.8133.  mealsonwheelspeople.org


From the Executive Director More than 70 percent of the senior meal programs nationally now have a waiting list for meals. Not Meals on Wheels People! We are one of the few meal programs that can still serve all seniors who request a meal. The reason for that is YOU. Our community supports our vision that no senior will go hungry or experience social isolation. Meals on Wheels People Board of Directors has planned for the aging of our communities for the last decade. Nutrition support will continue to play a critical role in not only saving millions of dollars in institutional care but offering the quality of life that seniors in our community expect. Marion’s story on page one of this newsletter is testimony to the value of our mission. Government funding has not increased with demand for services so our dedicated staff seeks every efficiency in order to provide more services. And our community members volunteer, donate and provide leadership to fill the funding gap. Our service is a community mission and that sets us apart from other areas of the country.

Preview Party Please consider leading a walking group, giving a donation for a second daily meal for a low-income senior, sharing some produce from your garden or planning to help with Donate Dinner this fall. Meals on Wheels People is not planning for a waiting list. We see a need that must be met and are grateful that our community partners — from individuals who donate a few dollars to large corporations that provide annual funding — help us meet that need. Please continue to keep Meals on Wheels People as one of your priorities as we strive to meet the growing need for senior meals. 

Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014 6

to

9

p.m.

Oregon Convention Center

$100 per person includes dinner and refreshments proceeds benefit meals on wheels people watch for details in our January newsletter and on mealsonwheelspeople.com

This newsletter is full of opportunities for engagement.

Follow Us www.mealsonwheelspeople.org mealsonwheelspeople.org

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Walk With Ease Keeps Seniors Fit by Elizabeth Midgorden In the well-lit basement of the North Plains Center laughter erupts as a group of eight seniors each plant their feet on a square of linoleum. Closing their eyes tightly, they begin quickly moving their feet in place. The marching continues for 30 seconds until Irene Kay, the oldest member of the group at 98, looks up from her oversized watch and yells “stop!” Eyes pop open to see how far their feet have traveled. These ladies are part of the Walk with Ease program, a walking group presented at select Meals on Wheels People centers in conjunction with the Arthritis Foundation and the Oregon Health Authority. Leading the group today is Marilyn Schulz, a volunteer instructor who explains the reasoning behind the exercise. “As seniors get older, they cannot rely as much on their eyes,” Marilyn said. “Moving without your eyes telling you where to go becomes important.” Introduced in spring 2012, the North Plains Walk with Ease program is one several offered by Meals on Wheels People. Other participating centers include Thelma Skelton, Belmont and Multnomah Village. The program aims to motivate seniors to get in shape, improve flexibility and strength and reduce overall pain. Page 4

“We enjoy chatting, but we also make sure to check on each other or tell each other when we’re not going to be there. We always let each other know we’ve got a doctor’s appointment and we’re not dead.” After working on strength and flexibility, the group puts away the ankle weights and stretching bands they used earlier and gather outside to begin the walk. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday the group of loyal attendees makes its way through the streets of North Plains to complete a 1.5 mile loop. Neon green stick figures painted on the sidewalk by the city help guide the group through their route. The ladies happily talk about everything from local restaurants to funny stories about their children and grandchildren. Jane Horning only knew a few of the other ladies when the Walk with Ease program began in North Plains, but quickly found new friendships in the group. “We enjoy chatting, but we also make sure to check on each other or

tell each other when we’re not going to be there,” Jane said. “We always let each other know we’ve got a doctor’s appointment and we’re not dead.” Wearing bright reflective vests, participants pick up trash they find on the sidewalk or near ditches. When they aren’t picking up trash, they admire the gardens and homes in the neighborhood or look at the new houses being built. People may think a walk around North Plains is a piece of cake. Despite its name, North Plains is not entirely flat, according to Jane. “There are definitely hills; there’s always a little climb going up and down,” she said. Getting out of the house and getting moving is what keeps her coming back, Jane said. “Earlier my hip was really hurting, but these walks are really improving our muscle strength,” she said. The overall toning the walks provide has improved her muscle strength so much that she can sometimes even run in small sprints, she added. Halfway through the walk, the group stops at an overgrown cherry tree near an abandoned house to pick a handful of cherries to enjoy for the rest of the walk. The women fill their hands with bright red fruit and move on, but not before a man across the street jokingly yells, “It’s those old cherry pickers again.”

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Attend an Event This Summer Meals on Wheels People has a number of events coming up in August and September. Plan to attend one and support seniors in our community. Ticket information available at mealsonwheelspeople.org. Aug. 15: Deschutes Street Fare 5 to 9 p.m., 2010 NW 11th. So much fun, they have to shut down the street for this event that features food carts, indie bands and Deschutes Brewery beer. Aug. 16: Sherwood Wine & Dine Celebrates the 31st anniversary of the Marjorie Stewart Senior Center.

Walk With Ease participants Betty Wold, Theresa Burns and Marie Hibbs (along with Betty’s granddaughter Alyssa) regularly walk in North Plains. The people in town have come to know the Walk with Ease group very well. The women at the bank wave, cars honk and pedestrians wave with friendly smiles as they stroll through town. “It’s kind of nice when people honk and keep an eye out for us. How often does that happen in a big city?” loyal Walk with Ease attendee Theresa Burns said. Theresa has walked with the group since the beginning. Even in the rain, the North Plains Walk with Ease group is still out there walking

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she said. “In the winter if it’s just a slight drizzle we take off anyway. We put on our raincoats and rain boots and get our umbrellas ready,” Theresa said. But with summer, she hopes the rainy days will be few and far between. Walk with Ease can use additional volunteers to help guide walking groups. For more information about Walk with Ease or how you can volunteer, contact Fitness Program Administrator Kaye Rains at kaye.rains@ mealsonwheelspeople.org or call 503.953.8163. 

Aug. 17: Ambleside Pancake Breakfast 8 to 11 a.m. in Gresham. All you-can-eat pancakes with the works! Aug. 18: Hawthorne Street Fair 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free live music, vendors, sales, family activities and so much more! Proceeds from this event benefit our Belmont Center. Sept. 7: MLK Summer in September Jambalaya Festival & BBQ Dawson Park, noon to 6 p.m. Now in its eighth year, Summer in September is a family-friendly event that combines authentic creole Jambalaya, barbecued ribs, beer garden, Zydeco music and a children’s play area.  Page 5


Green Thumbs Bring Garden to Meals on Wheels Senior by Elizabeth Midgorden A stone fountain with dated charm sits outside the home of Meals on Wheels client Joann Randall. The gray stone is contrasted by a yard full of green grass and a bed of yellow flowers near the front door. Two months ago Joann’s yard was a little less beautiful, but with the help of Meals on Wheels volunteers from NuStar Energy, she has an HGTVworthy front yard. Five years ago, NuStar Energy staff adopted a Meals on Wheels route at the Two Rivers Center. Kathy Curtis, operations analyst at NuStar, said the decision to donate time to Meals on Wheels was an easy choice to make. “I have a 94-year-old mother. My brother stays there during the week and I go over on the weekends. She can’t get around very much and I just figured what if my mom didn’t have us? What if she was by herself?” she said. “Not everyone has family help, whether it’s to bring them food or mow their yard.” Joann has been on NuStar’s Thursday route since the beginning and quickly became a favorite among the employees. In fact, they enjoy Joann so much that they have taken to calling her “grandma”. “She always sits in front of her window in a hospital bed waiting for us,”Kathy said. After delivering a meal to Joann’s house one day, Page 6

NuStar Energy employees recently updated the landscaping for a client on their Meals on Wheels route. Workers included Bill Spackman, Bill Dungan, Steve Kober, Kathy Curtis and Don Marti, Jr. Not pictured are Todd Clark, Mike Wise, Cassandra Marti and Jessica Spackman. Kathy turned to her coworkers and said, “It would be great if we could fix ‘Grandma’s’ yard because it really needs some work.” The NuStar staff ’s dedication to the clients on their route comes as no surprise to Two Rivers Center Manger Ruth Jensen. “All the workers are committed to giving back to their community. They have even come in to deliver meals on days when their plant is closed. That’s commitment!” she said. Kathy talked to Joann about helping her with the yard and the NuStar crew headed to her house on a Saturday morning in May. “The yard was overgrown and needed mowing and edging. She had weeds that were badly overgrown, too,” Kathy said.

Armed with bark dust, gardening tools, gloves and pots of flowers, they went to work. “We’d go inside and ask her, is it okay to do this or is it okay to move that and she always said ‘yes!’ with the biggest smile on her face,” Kathy said. One of the workers found an old cement fountain hidden among the tall weeds in the backyard and Kathy knew the perfect place for it. “I thought we should put it up front so she can see it from her window,” Kathy said. Four hours later, the transformation was complete. The weed-filled flower beds were replaced with beautiful yellow flowers, the thick grass freshly cut Continued on page 7 mealsonwheelspeople.org


• BJ Willy’s – all three locations! • Las Primas • Marco’s Café • Mill Creek Pub • Peachtree Restaurant • Qdoba – all seven locations! • Reedville Café • Salvador Molly’s • Seasons & Regions Continued from page 6 and the view from Joann’s window never looked better. Even after two months, Joann’s enthusiasm about her yard makeover is strong. “When we deliver her meal, she says ‘I still get so many compliments on the yard’, and I just say I’m glad we can help.” If your business would like to deliver Meals on Wheels, visit mealsonwheelspeople.org or call 503.736.6325 for more information.  mealsonwheelspeople.org

BJ Willy’s held a contest between their three locations and awarded prizes for the location with the highest overall donations, the highest to single donation ($100!), the most donations gathered by a single employee and the most donations from vendors. BJ Willy’s locations raised more than $4,200! Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground added an additional $1,000 to the donations their patrons made for a total gift of $2,251. Burgerville restaurants in Gresham, Hillsboro and Vancouver donated 10 percent of the proceeds on designated nights in May. Three restaurants held a half-night and donated a portion of the proceeds from the event to Meals on Wheels People:

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More than a dozen eateries throughout the metro area participated in our first Dine Around Town event during the month of May to raise $15,000 to support senior nutrition in our community. Several restaurants included a buckslip with the bill presented to patrons and asked them to make a donation to Meals on Wheels People. They included:

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Thank you restaurants!

a r o u n d t o w n

Dine Around Town Raises $15,000 for Senior Meals

benefit

• McMenamin’s Highland Pub • Mississippi Pizza • Portland Brewing Company Taproom We encourage you to dine at these restaurants throughout the year and be sure to mention how much you appreciate their support of Meals on Wheels People. We’ll be doing Dine Around Town again, so watch for an announcement on mealsonwheelspeople.org or on Facebook (facebook/ feedingseniors). 

Valentine-A-Gram: Back By Popular Demand We received hundreds of calls from both purchasers and recipients when we announced we were ending Valentine-A-Gram. We listened! We are currently reworking Valentine-A-Gram and will bring it back for February 2014 in a new and different way. Watch for more details this winter!

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Tel: 503.953.8136 mealsonwheelspeople.org Julie Piper Finley, ABC, editor julie.piperfinley@mealsonwheelspeople.org

Register your team for

Donate Dinner 2013 Be part of one of the largest volunteer events in Portland—and help bring the spirit of Thanksgiving to homebound seniors. From November 23-27, Donate Dinner volunteers greet customers at local grocery stores and hand out cards asking them to add a donation to their grocery bill at checkout. We are now recruiting volunteer teams for Donate Dinner 2013! Each shift is only two hours and available from 10 a.m. 8 p.m. Last year, more than 1,200 volunteers helped raise $210,000. Go to www.DonateDinner.org and register your team at the store of your choice for one of the five days. You’ll get an email with all the details. It’s easy and fun! And don’t forget to sign up to deliver meals on Thanksgiving at mealsonwheelspeople.org beginning in September!


Mowp summer newsletter 2013