An important part of the Senior Adult program at The J is the Senior Nutrition Program. Seniors come to The J five days a week to enjoy a hot, kosher meal in the company of friends. They make a suggested donation of $3 per meal or whatever they can afford, and additional donations are welcome.
There are, however, also seniors who need the meal program but are unable to come to The J. For them, The J offers home-delivered hot, kosher meals through Meals-on-Wheels.
The need for these home-delivered meals often exceeds the resources available to provide them, and, in the past, when maximum enrollment in the program was reached, those who could not be served were put on a waiting list. This is a problem found across the Meals-on-Wheels network, and not just with The J’s program.
GFoundation, an organization that was established to address senior hunger, veteran and civilian post homelessness, children’s hunger and teen hunger, learned about the problem.
“The first program we started was a senior meal program called GMeals-on-Wheels,” said John Howard Shaw-Woo, a founding member of GFoundation. “It came about after we had approached Meals-on-Wheels to see if we could have fundraiser and donate money to Meals-on-Wheels to feed the seniors on their waiting list.
“They would have had to use money within a month or lose equivalent in federal funds,” Shaw-Woo explained, so GFoundation decided to create a gap program that would provide meals to those who were on the waiting list.
GFoundation solicited funds from individual donors and corporations and now provides those seniors with five healthy meals a week.
Once the program was up and running, Meals-on-Wheels alerted GFoundation to a similar need at The J. “So the board decided to support JCC by paying for meals that could be distributed to seniors on waiting list,” Shaw-Woo said. “The J provides kosher meals, which other meal provider is not able to do, so the JCC fills a niche for those seniors on the waiting list who need to keep kosher.”
Senior Adult Director Diane Sadle said, “The J is grateful for the additional support. The GFoundation is enabling us to serve all the seniors who need kosher Meals-on-Wheels so nobody has to go hungry.
Today, GFoundation is serving about 100 seniors across the region.
More information about GFoundation can be found at www.gfoundation.org.