Sponsor a Senior attracts volunteers and donations

Milford. The initiative by Pike County Area Agency on Aging to keep seniors well-fed and healthy during the pandemic is a smash success, as community members roll up their sleeves and dig into their wallets.

24 Jun 2020 | 03:53

The Sponsor a Senior campaign launched by the Pike County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) has raised about $15,000 so far.

“We are so grateful for the overwhelming support of our Home Delivered Meals program,” says AAA Executive Director Robin Skibber. “During this very challenging time there has been a real sense of community around this campaign, and it has brought new awareness to one of our core services that helps to provide nutrition to older adults as well as socialization when our drivers deliver the meals to their doorsteps. At this time our staff and volunteers are not entering people’s homes, but they still wave and share a smile during drop-offs.”

As the COVID-19 crisis hit Pike County, the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) was launching its annual March for Meals campaign, a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meal on Wheels and our senior neighbors who rely on this vital service to remain healthy and independent at home.To offset the cost to recipients, AAA initiated Sponsor a Senior, asking for donations to help cover the $15 cost of meals for a week.

Due to the pandemic, AAA’s senior center activities were suspended, but the demand for Home Delivered Meals has increased significantly. Currently, approximately 800 to 1,000 meals are delivered weekly to Pike County senior citizens.

The Home Delivered Meals program is partially funded by the federal government, local funds, and the Pennsylvania Lottery. AAA asks for a donation of $3 per meal from recipients, but even that is difficult for many older adults.

AAA has also seen an increase in volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis. Jill Gamboni of Dingman Township is one of these volunteers.

“My husband Francis and I helped out for several weeks delivering meals to 16 to 27 homes in Dingman and Delaware Townships each Tuesday,” she said. “We truly enjoyed interacting with the seniors and their various fur babies. It is so important for seniors to have interaction, and we were happy to provide a little bit for a few weeks while other more vulnerable staff were able to get a break from deliveries. Thank you to Area Agency on Aging for allowing us an opportunity to serve our community.”

To support Pike County Home Delivered Meals, visit pikeaaa.org and click on the Donate link. For more information on how you can volunteer at Pike County Area Agency on Aging email svanorden@pikepa.org or call 570-775-5550 ext. 1303.

“Volunteers are the heartbeat that helps keep our Home Delivered Meals Program alive,” said Skibber. “Together, we can help to keep seniors living independently, healthier at home and feeling more connected to their community as they age.”

“We truly enjoyed interacting with the seniors and their various fur babies. It is so important for seniors to have interaction, and we were happy to provide a little bit for a few weeks while other more vulnerable staff were able to get a break from deliveries.” --Jill Gamboni, volunteer