TAMPA, FL, (March 18) – On Saturday, March 18th, over 100 community volunteers, businesses and groups will participate in Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s Produce On Wheels (POW!) program, in partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, to increase senior and homebound access to fresh produce. Dedicated volunteers will give their time, vehicle, and gas to deliver pre-packed bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to 700 home delivered meal recipients (HDM) on Saturday morning. Produce bags are free of charge to HDM recipients.
There are still 10 routes available that need volunteers to sign up for to deliver. Please visit www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow or call (813) 238-8410 to sign up or to find out how you can help.
In response to this program, Meals On Wheels of Tampa has developed partnerships with the following groups: Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, Sanwa Farmer’s Market, Feeding Tampa Bay, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, and others. Their generous contributions have enhanced this month’s delivery.
This monthly event is very exciting for Meals On Wheels of Tampa whose mission is to nourish, enrich, and strengthen the independent lives of the homebound and seniors in Tampa. POW! was developed in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out to all 700 HDM recipients last year.
“Thank you so much for the bag of fresh produce! This is such a blessing because I can no longer shop for fresh food. Many thanks to all who helped with this program, it is wonderful! Especially the volunteers who came to see me on a Saturday-what a treat!” said Delores, HDM recipient on the Meals On Wheels of Tampa program.
In addition to increasing access to produce, this opportunity has increased volunteer opportunities for those who may not be available to deliver meals during the week.
Recipients also receive an educational handout that highlights the nutritional advantages of the items in the bag, tips to reduce waste, recipe ideas, and produce safety. Feedback was recently collected from recipients and volunteers to assist in the evaluation of the program to continue to improve its impact on senior nutrition. Professors and graduate students from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health assisted Meals On Wheels of Tampa staff in evaluating the effectiveness of the POW! program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound. Pre-test, post-test, and process evaluation surveys were completed during 2016 and revealed recipients were consuming an additional serving of fresh fruit and half of a serving of vegetables each day. In order to keep increasing the impact of POW! on recipients, Meals On Wheels of Tampa is currently looking for funding to expand the program.
Future POW! delivery dates are Saturday, April 8th and Saturday, June 17th. On Saturday, May 20th, volunteer will deliver hurricane preparedness packs to all recipients on the program. Please visit www.mowtampa.org/volunteer/volunteerneed to sign up!
Interested in delivering POW? Sign up by visiting www.MOWTampa.org/programs/pow
or call (813) 238-8410.
About Meals On Wheels of Tampa:
Meals On Wheels of Tampa has been committed to nourishing and enriching the independent lives of the homebound and seniors of Tampa since 1975. Today, Meals On Wheels of Tampa serves over 700 people with a hot meal during the lunch hour. Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a 4-star charity and relies on its community for support by not accepting government funding.
If you would like to start receiving meals or if you know someone in need, please visit www.MOWTampa.org or call (813) 238-8410 today.
MEDIA: If you would like to follow a volunteer on their route to get footage of seniors accepting bag at their front door, please call LAUREN (813) 238-8410. Best time for Media Coverage: 9:30 AM -10:30 AM at Meals On Wheels of Tampa office, 550 W. Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33603 then you can leave with a volunteer in your car and follow along to a few homes.