Hi, I’m Chris Moldovan I am the nutrition and wellness director at age well and I oversee the meals on wheels program, the community meals program, our dietitian services as well as health promotion and wellness programming. Today I’ll explain a little bit about each Meals on Wheels is a home delivered meal program that is meant to provide a third of the DRI or daily requirement for an individual over the age of 60. At Age Well we’re really proud of our program. We’re able to provide eight different therapeutic diets. What that means is meals that are medically tailored to meet someone’s needs to manage a chronic illness. We know that many people over the age of 60 have one or more chronic illnesses, things like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and they need to have particular foods to manage. We offer a heart-healthy diet, a diabetic friendly diet, and a meal that is specifically geared for people with renal disease. We also offer a vegetarian diet lacto-ovo so that includes milk eggs and cheese. We have a gluten-free diet lactose free diet and in addition we have mechanically altered diets mechanical soft which is like fork tender so it’s easy for an individual to cut and chew the food, or puree for those people that have additional swallowing problems or very poor dentition. We offer meals on wheels in all four counties, all towns in those counties and we deliver daily Monday through Friday for those people that need weekend meals they would be receiving frozen meals for the weekend. Our volunteer program is so important to the Meals on Wheels program because as you know every day we need volunteers to show up, arrive, take those meals, and deliver to the individuals who need them. They provide safety checks, you’ll hear more about those later. What we do now is we contract with Trio Food Service out of Rutland, Vermont and they work with us to provide our meals. They prepare fully cooked, chilled meals that are packed by roots so what that means is we have staff at Age Well who work in Nutrition Support to customize the meal schedule as well as the dietary pattern. For that individual those meals are packed in Rutland in coolers, brought up to what we call hubs or locations in the community where a volunteer would arrive, pick up the cooler packed for the route. Inside that cooler is a detailed route sheet explaining who the individuals are, what their address is, what meal type they need and how many meals they’re getting that day. The volunteer then takes those meals, drives them out, delivers them to the individual. They might be more palatable if the individual heats them, but they could be refrigerated if the person wanted to eat them later on in the afternoon or even for an evening meal. We also have a community meals program or congregate meals. They sign up in advance, they show up on a given day at a particular location scattered about our four counties and they eat the same meal with their friends and community members, maybe even family members and enjoy that nutritious meal that meets the older Americans act guidelines I mentioned earlier. About the third of the DRI all meals that we serve through Age Well need to meet the older Americans act guidelines for nutrition that is including a good source of protein, carbohydrate of course. We look for whole grains as often as possible, we focus on fruits and vegetables at least a cup and a half of fruits and vegetables at every meal. We focus on vitamin A, vitamin C, and a good calcium source so this is a well-rounded meal whether it’s a sit-down meal at a congregate site or a home delivered meal through Meals on Wheels. We partner with many different community partners, such as senior centers, churches, different schools, even to sit down and have sit-down meals or sometimes we have grab-and-go meals or curbside pick-up those are meals that again similar to the sit-down but they’re carefully packaged so that an individual can drive by, put the meal into the back of their car or have someone, a volunteer, do that and drive away and have a nutritious meal. We provide education, nutrition education, health promotion, education vaccination information depending on what the needs are in the community at the time with those meals. We also have a registered dietitian who works with us on a regular basis to provide nutrition education at the meal sites when possible or we’ve recorded some videos to have access to it times when people can’t get out we also have one-on-one counseling that is available to those clients that might need a little additional education or really customized information about their chronic illness and how diet can help them manage it. People with diabetes, people trying to lose weight, heal a wound, many different topics that we can cover. We also have partnerships with restaurants, sit down meals in some cases and then other restaurants participate in our restaurant ticket program. That’s a program where an individual can donate for the meal, receive a voucher or a ticket take that ticket to the nearby restaurant that’s on our website and it’ll be listed on a calendar of those restaurants that participate and depending on the day or the time that they’ve denoted as the Age Well time, the individual can go in receive a meal. It meets those older Americans act guidelines for nutrition, they then pay for their meal with the ticket we Age Well reimburses the restaurant for those meals at the end of the month. Back to the registered dietitian she is available to do one-on-one counseling in people’s homes when appropriate or virtually via the phone or a zoom type platform where that person can provide one-on-one information and assistance to the individual who needs the counseling or possibly a family member or caregiver to help make sure that that individual has the information they need to manage their chronic health issues. We have been very fortunate to be able to expand our offerings over the last few years and many of you have heard of the Tai Chi programming that we offer. Tai Chi for balance it is a falls prevention program and we work with over 30 active volunteers who have been trained by Tai Chi Vermont to provide a basic level and then an intermediate level Tai Chi practice for individuals we know that by practicing one hour a week over a period of 10 to 14 weeks improves strength, balance and flexibility. We know that Tai Chi is an excellent falls prevention program. We offer nutrition and physical activity program called Eat Smart, Move More Weigh Less, that is a nutrition program that is focused on helping people make behavioral changes that would affect a more healthy diet or a more healthy intake and at the same time encourage individuals to become more physically active. It’s an evidence-based program that will help people, perhaps reduce their blood pressure levels, produce a slight to moderate amount of weight loss, and help people feel better about their overall health. A matter of balance is another falls prevention program that is available to our participants that is online and in person and that is a basically a support group that’s available to individuals who for some reason, maybe they’ve previously had a fall or they’re recovering from surgery or they’re just feeling weak or fragile because of health issues and they’re so afraid to participate and get out of their homes and apartments and participate in the community or go for a walk because they’re fearful of falling. This is an opportunity again for volunteers to work with our program to train and learn how to run these groups out into the community in senior housing situations or senior centers or perhaps online to support individuals over the age of 60 and help them overcome that fear of falling. Let’s talk about Meals on Wheels. Safety checks are super important. When a volunteer delivers a meal to an individual, sometimes that’s the only person that person has had contact with in a day so when you knock on the door say hello, drop the meal, you’re actually seeing that person for the first time and able to do a quick safety check which allows for you, maybe you notice that their mail didn’t get picked up or their driveway wasn’t shoveled or possibly when they opened the door they were all bundled up and and and they were cold and they perhaps didn’t have heat on in their apartment. Maybe they don’t answer the door right away. In all those instances, we would ask that you would take the phone number that’s on the route sheet and call Age Well. We have staff in nutrition support who will help identify the issue, contact that individual and make sure they’re safe and in some cases, escalate to a higher level to make sure that that individual is okay.