SUMMIT, NJ — As the pandemic forced businesses and services to close in 2020, the demand for SAGE’s Meals on Wheels kept increasing. By the end of the year, the nonprofit delivered a record-breaking 50,000 meals, an increase of 7,000 from the previous year. Family members who were unable to visit and offer support to their older adult relatives called on Meals on Wheels for help. The meal service became an increasingly important resource for food and way to have someone check in on loved ones.
According to Marianne Kranz, director of Meals on Wheels, she, her staff and many volunteers continued to go to the SAGE building at 290 Broad St. in Summit every day during the pandemic to pack and deliver meals. Community organizations and area residents pitched in by donating what was needed. Along with frozen meals and nonperishable food items, people dropped off toilet paper and paper towels, masks, baked goods and monetary donations.
“Our goal was to provide our clients with extra food, so they wouldn’t have to worry about leaving the house to get to a grocery store,” said Kranz. “There were also people coming home from the hospital alone, scared and food insecure.”
Meals on Wheels was there to help and continues to be a vital support to those in the community who need it. The average age of someone receiving meals is 83. Half of these clients live alone, and 65 percent rarely see anyone other than the volunteer who brings them their meals.
If you or a family member is in need of meal assistance, call 908-273-5554. Meals on Wheels delivers to Berkeley Heights, Chatham, New Providence, Millburn/Short Hills, Mountainside, Summit and Springfield.
Since 1954, SAGE Eldercare has been helping make the communities it serves amazing places to age. The nonprofit organization provides a wide array of information, support and services designed to help individuals lead the most independent and active lives possible. For more information, call 908-273-5550 or visit www.sageeldercare.org.
Photos Courtesy of Cindy Potters