Meals on Wheels needs donations to serve local senior citizens

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) A nutritious, hot meal for some senior citizens living in our area wouldn't be possible without the help of SSM Health at Home's Meals on Wheels program.

On Friday, SSM Health at Home hosted one of it's biggest fundraisers at the Orpheum filled with dining, dancing, and donating. The goal of the event is to raise 1,000 meals.

Gina Riesen is the Meals on Wheels coordinator with SSM Health at Home. She said each meal costs $8 a day. While the organization does receive some money from organizations like Dane County Human Services, United Way of Dane County, and the Home Health United - Visiting Nurse Service, it needs some help to close the gaps.

Riesen said for many of these seniors, it's more than a meal. The service also provides a sense of security.

"We're delivering independence for folks to stay in their home," said Riesen. "We're also providing security. So we always know at the end of the day where everyone is."

Riesen went on to explain that if someone doesn't answer the door, they're emergency contact person is called. If they don't answer, volunteers will call the non-emergency line.

"We've definitely saved lives by being persistent and following through and making sure that people are okay," said Riesen.

Midday meals are served Monday through Friday to more than 300 senior citizens in Madison, Middleton, Monona, and Sun Prairie. Throughout the course of the year, that comes out to 78,000 meals.

Every dollar that is donated goes to providing meals for the seniors. Click here to donate now. Meals on Wheels is always in need of volunteers. To sign-up and give your time, click here.

If you or a loved one is in need of these services, SSM Health at Home's website states meal delivery can usually begin within 48-72 hours. For more information, contact 608-276-7598 or MOW@hhuvns.org.

NBC15's Amy Pflugshaupt and Mike Jacques served as emcees for the "Heels for Meals" event on Friday.