Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 6, Coastal Seniors’ volunteers, along with Executive Director Micheline Kirby, will begin the 4th Annual Miles for Meals Hike to raise funds and awareness for Coastal Seniors’ Meals on Wheels program.
The hike will take place along the north-west portion of the Lake Tahoe Rim Trail. The group of hikers will begin their journey at Barker Pass and head north toward Mount Rose. Along the way the group will hike to the peak of Brockway Summit and Mt. Rose Summit. The total length of the hike will be 60 miles. In order to take part in the hike each participant has committed to raising a minimum of $500 in sponsors to benefit Meals on Wheels. The fundraising goal for this year’s hike is $15,000.
COASTAL SENIORS Meals on Wheels program serves over 7,500 meals per year to homebound seniors living between Stewarts Point in Sonoma County and Irish Beach in Mendocino County. The program continues to grow rapidly while funding levels fail to keep up with the demand for the service. In addition, funding for all senior nutrition programs is in danger of being slashed in the proposed federal budget.
Recipients of MOW are seniors who are homebound due to illness, injury, disabilities, frailty or those who are recovering from medical procedures. This program is crucial to seniors living along the coast in isolated areas because it helps them age in place instead of living in care facilities. The program also offers seniors an opportunity for socialization, a connection to further resources, and a safety check from friendly, trained volunteers.
Considering all expenses involved in operating the program (food, staff, mileage, insurance, rents, utilities, supplies, etc.), it costs almost $100,000 per year to operate the program. Only 16% of the MOW program is funded through state and federal grants. The remainder of the money is earned through donations and fundraisers like this hike.