Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center in Damariscotta and the Cohen Center in Hallowell were recently awarded pet food grant funding from the Banfield Charitable Trust. The Centers received grants totaling $2,000 to benefit their Meals on Wheels AniMeals programs in Lincoln and Southern Kennebec Counties.
Spectrum Generations AniMeals on Wheels program was founded so that home-bound seniors and disabled individuals in Central Maine would not feel compelled to share their limited food and resources with their four-legged friends. AniMeals on Wheels volunteers repackage bulk dog and cat food purchased at local pet food stores with money grant funding and individual donations. Zip locked packages containing a week’s worth of pet food are delivered to Meals on Wheels recipients once a week along with the MOW recipients lunch. Volunteer Joyce Polyniak, who coordinates the AniMeals program for Lincoln County notes that “our AniMeals program allows Meals on Wheels recipients to keep their four legged diner companions at home and properly feed. This companionship helps alleviate loneliness, gives the person who lives by themselves someone to talk to as well as a purpose for getting up each morning”.
Expressions of gratitude for Spectrum Generations AniMeals on Wheels program are reflected in the following statements made by MOW recipients “Thank you so much for helping to provide for my cat and wonderful companion, Brady. I would never be able to keep him if it were not for the pet food that you so kindly give to me” or “Ever since my husband passed away, my cat Missy has filled the void. Thanks to AniMeals, I don’t have to worry about how I can afford to feed her!”
Overwhelming research has shown that pets are a real health benefit for their elderly owners. Compared to non-pet owners, those with four-legged friends at home have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, have a better sense of security, are more active, experience less depression and even live longer. Unfortunately, the cost and ability to acquire pet food can often prove to be insurmountable obstacles for homebound senior and disabled individuals. The AniMeals program strives to remove these obstacles and keep our clients together with their pets for their physical health as well as their emotional well-being.
The vision of Banfield Charitable Trust is to ensure that every wanted and loved pet should be able to stay in their home and have been working to keep pets and people together since 2004. Their mission is closely aligned with the mission of Spectrum Generations who recognizes that like their owners, the cherished pets of the Meals on Wheels consumers also need nutritious meals to stay healthy, so offer AniMeals to those who want them thanks to the generous support from organizations like the Banfield Charitable Trust.
Spectrum Generations mission is promoting life-long learning, health, wellness, nutrition, community engagement and social well-being of all older and disabled adults.
Based on the premise that the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability level, enables a person to live a more physically and socially healthy life.
As Central Maine’s Meals on Wheels provider, Spectrum Generations is committed to preparing fresh and nutritionally balanced hot meals for homebound or disabled individuals that are delivered by dedicated volunteers and staff to 128 communities throughout Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset, and Waldo Counties, plus the towns of Harpswell and Brunswick in Cumberland County.
Donations to Spectrum Generations Meals on Wheels and AniMeals programs can be directed to: Spectrum Generations, PO Box 2589, Augusta, ME 04338-2589. Enrich the lives of a senior citizen simply by making a donation to Spectrum Generations AniMeal program today. Please note whether or not your donation should be directed to the AniMeals program at the Coastal or Cohen Community Center. Thank you.
If you’d like more information about these topics or Spectrum Generations or would like to schedule an interview with Nutrition Coordinators at the Coastal Center (Kellie Bigos) or Cohen Center (Lynda Johnson please contact Marianne Pinkham at (207) 563-1363 or e-mail Marianne at firstname.lastname@example.org.