Words | Debbie Burke
When Monroe County Meals on Wheels comes rolling through, the community breathes a sigh of relief. The agency, founded in 1972, services individuals (and their 24/7 pet companions) who are food-disadvantaged and unable to leave their homes to shop for food. The program delivers food and the much-needed human contact to program recipients.
According to Executive Director Heidi Fareri, their most significant challenge is the growing need for services in Monroe County. “Last year, we served 392 individuals over the course of the year. This is the highest number of individuals we have served since we began,” said Heidi. “It looks like we will top that number again this year.”
Pennsylvania has the second largest-growing older adult population, right behind Florida. Heidi added, “Here in Monroe County, a fairly rural county, adults with mobility issues and who may not drive have a difficult time getting to a grocery store. All these factors have contributed to our rising numbers.”
Meals on Wheels recently received a grant to help community members address their non-food needs and coordinate with other service providers. Another grant will allow the agency to provide veterinarian and grooming services for clients’ pets.
Throughout the year, the agency holds special events to raise awareness and support. The next event happens to be Meals on Wheels’ largest annual fundraiser, Pocono Raceway’s Pennsylvania Wing Fest. It takes place on August 12, from 12 – 5 p.m. This free event at Pocono Raceway offers seven hours of delicious chicken wings from a wide variety of competitors, live music, craft beers and wine, as well as other food and entertainment for all ages.
For more information, visit www.MonroeMeals.com or www.poconoraceway.com.