The Perry Lutheran Homes have stepped up and begun delivering nourishing meals to home-bound elders in Perry and northern Dallas County. Donations from private individuals and organizations are needed to bridge the gap in funding to ensure the program can continue.
With the unfortunate closure of HomeCare Services Inc. of Dallas County Aug. 30, home-bound elders across Dallas County were left wondering where their next meal would come from. The Perry Lutheran Homes was approached by members of the Perry community and asked to fill the need.
After reviewing additional information to assess feasibility, it was determined that with external financial support, the Perry Lutheran Homes would indeed be able to step up and serve elderly and disabled citizens in need of both nourishment and in-home care in northern Dallas County.
The Perry Lutheran Homes Meals on Wheels program started home delivery of meals Monday, Sept. 23, with the focus on caring for older adults or others who are home-bound because of illness or physical or mental impairment or otherwise unable to shop for food or prepare food independently.
Initial funding for the Perry Lutheran Homes Meals on Wheels has come from Dallas County and Aging Resources of Central Iowa, which has also been an excellent resource in helping with the startup of the service. However, a gap of $12,000 still exists to cover costs associated with the home-delivered meal program for the remainder of this fiscal year.
“Perry Lutheran Homes has recently been challenging others to StepUp and Serve Together our Elderly with Passion,” said Melissa Gannon, COO and administrator of the Perry Lutheran Homes. “Making a donation to support the Perry Lutheran Homes Meals on Wheels program is a great way to do that. About 85 percent of meals served by Perry Lutheran Homes Meals on Wheels are provided at low or no cost. A donation of $45 covers a week’s worth of delivered meals for one elder citizen, or a donation of $2,160 would cover a year’s worth of delivered meals for one elder citizen. A donation in any amount, large or small, will help.”
The Perry Lutheran Homes also seeks volunteers to deliver the meals to area homes.
“In addition to funding, volunteers are needed to deliver meals, smiles, warm greetings and daily encouragement,” Gannon said. “Volunteering to deliver meals can be another great way to StepUp for our elder and disabled citizens in need. Meals are delivered between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteers can deliver meals one day a week or all five, whatever fits with their schedule. Our volunteers may be the only person an older person sees during the day, so volunteers will help combat loneliness and isolation by forming friendships with meal recipients. They are also able to spot needs and help connect clients with appropriate resources. In addition, volunteers may also be a vital lifeline in the event of a medical emergency, such as an accident or fall.”
There are three easy ways to make a donation and support local home-bound elders in need of food. You can mail a check to Perry Lutheran Homes, 2323 Willis Ave., Perry, IA 50220, and put “Meals on Wheels” in the memo. You can text the word “GIVE” to the number 515-320-8256, or you can donate online at the Perry Lutheran Homes website.
To volunteer to deliver meals or if you are a home-bound elder and would like to sign up for meal delivery, please call 515-465-7500. To learn more about Perry Lutheran Homes Meals on Wheels, visit the Perry Lutheran Homes website.
Mollie Clark is the director of marketing at the Perry Lutheran Homes.