March 2021: March for Meals Month

WHEREAS, on March 22, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and established a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older; and,


WHEREAS, Meals on Wheels America established the March for Meals campaign in March 2002 to raise awareness about the escalating problem of senior hunger in America and recognize the importance of the Older Americans Act nutrition programs; and,


WHEREAS, the 2021 observance of March for Meals celebrates 19 years of providing an opportunity to support home-delivered meal programs, such as Meals on Wheels, that deliver vital and critical services through donating food, volunteering, and raising awareness about senior hunger and isolation; and,


WHEREAS, volunteers for home-delivered meal programs serve as the backbone of the program, both delivering nutritious meals to and checking on the well-being of seniors and individuals with disabilities at significant risk of hunger and isolation; and,


WHEREAS, home-delivered meal programs in Michigan provide nutritious meals to seniors throughout the state that help them maintain their health and independence, thereby preventing unnecessary falls, hospitalizations, and/or premature institutionalization, and prolonging a more independent life at home; and,


WHEREAS, home-delivered meal programs also provide socialization opportunities for millions of seniors to help combat the negative health effects and economic consequences of loneliness and isolation; and,


WHEREAS, home-delivered meal programs deserve recognition for the essential services they have provided amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to provide long after the pandemic is over;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2021 as the 19th Annual March for Meals Month and urge every citizen to take this month to honor our home-delivered meal programs, the seniors they serve, and the volunteers who care for them. Our recognition of, and involvement in, the 2021 March for Meals can enrich our entire community and help combat senior hunger and isolation in America.