Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Something Advocap does:

Advocap meal delivery program nourishes seniors' bodies, spirits
Donations help keep service up and running
Kara Patterson
Post-Crescent staff writer
Ruth Slomski, 80, says she is relieved that she receives noontime meals ready to eat every weekday, and also appreciates the frozen meals that get her through each weekend.

The Winnebago County Nutrition Program's home-delivered meal program — run through Advocap Inc. and bolstered by United Way Fox Cities funds — has become a saving grace for the Neenah resident's health and independence.

"I'm living with my son and he's gone to work," Slomski said Thursday. "I'm in a wheelchair and I burnt myself several times, in blisters. My daughter said it's time for me to stay away from anything (involved with hot meal preparation)."

What's happening
The Nutrition Program, which also includes 11 group sites, offers meals that provide one-third of the recommended dietary intake for older adults.

Each meal costs $7.09 but meals are free for participants, who mostly are age 60 and up, said Nutrition Program director Terri Stern.

However, their goodwill donations, which average $2.42 per meal in United Way's service area, make up about 30 percent of the Nutrition Program's total budget, Stern said.

How it works
Paid and volunteer drivers deliver meals. One menu offers meatloaf with a side of tomatoes and zucchini, scalloped potatoes, white bread, diced peaches, a Rice Krispie bar and milk.

About 67 percent of participants in United Way's service area who responded to a January survey depend upon the noon meals for half or more of their daily food intake.

Slomski said she usually saves her fruit or dessert to eat later with her afternoon medications.

What's ahead
Stern said United Way dollars in 2007 could help protect the Nutrition Program from financial distress. The program received $36,225 in 2006.

"If we did not have United Way funding, we'd be talking about having to scale back services, plain and simple," she said.

For more information about the Nutrition Program, call Stern at 920-725-6323 or 800-631-2791. Advocap's Web site is www.advocap.org.


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