Age Well and Essex Meals on Wheels Merge –To Meet the Growing Needs of Northwestern Vermont’s Aging Population
After decades of partnering to relieve hunger, Age Well and Essex Meals on Wheels (EMOW) announced today they will merge their home-delivered meal services. This union will help meet the growing number of Northwestern Vermonters who rely on Meals on Wheels for nutritious meals, safety checks and friendly visits.
“For the past few years the board has focused on providing a more stable future for the delivery of meals to our clients,” said Jim Miller, President of EMOW Board of Directors. “The food and companionship delivered by Meals on Wheels is critical to so many of our neighbors and now with the help of Age Well, this program will continue to be strong.”
Meal delivery will remain uninterrupted. The same staff will prepare the food and the volunteers who have dedicated their time to EMOW will continue to deliver meals.
“We’re excited to have the Essex Meals on Wheels volunteers join the ranks of our larger volunteer program at Age Well. These volunteers are not only critical to the delivery of meals but also to providing a network of support.” Stated Erica Marks, Director of Volunteer Services at Age Well.
Age Well delivered more than 200,000 meals in Northwestern Vermont last year and is the primary funding source for Burlington Meals on Wheels, another nonprofit providing meals to seniors at nutritional risk. In addition to Meals on Wheels, the forty-year-old nonprofit offers a wide array of services to help aging Vermonters manage their daily living needs with the goal of keeping individuals active, healthy and independent. Services include care coordination, Choices for Care, HomeMeds, the Helpline, hospital to home transitions, health insurance counseling, caregiver support and much more. Age Well also provides case management services to SASH.
“EMOW and Age Well share the same goal, so formally teaming up to reduce costs and better serve the aging population makes sense,” said Mike Hall, CEO of Age Well. “While the service will remain the same, we’re confident that this merger will drive efficiencies while creating new energy and innovation centered on unique ways of solving hunger and isolation in our community.”
“Essex Meals on Wheels has a long and admirable history, thanks to our caring volunteers and dedicated staff”, stated Miller. “We have worked with Age Well in the fight against hunger for many years and this merger enables our clients to continue receiving the same great meals and care without an interruption in service.”
While this merger means increased responsibility and funding demands for Age Well, it also enables the organization to streamline services so individuals who accessed both entities in the past will now be able to have their needs met at one place.
In addition, by maximizing Age Well’s existing four-county, Meals on Wheels infrastructure, scale, and expertise, this merger allows for greater ability to anticipate and adapt to the future needs of individuals whose diminished mobility makes it hard to shop for food, prepare meals, or socialize with others. In addition, community support will now be directed to one program as opposed to two separate organizations carrying out the same mission.
To guarantee that this transition is successful, both the United Way of Northwest Vermont and the Vermont Community Foundation have given their support. “We encourage organizations to explore ways to work together, not only for efficiency, but also for the positive synergy that such partnerships can create. We support and appreciate the work of these two organizations in building an effective collaboration that provides such an important service to so many people in our community,” stated Amy Carmola, Director of Community Impact, United Way of Northwest Vermont.
“The Vermont Community Foundation supports this merger because these agencies can do more together than they could ever do apart,” said Dan Smith, President and CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation.