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Southern Maine Agency on Aging Receive $1,500 from Meals on Wheels America to Support Clients and Pets

Much-Needed Funding Helps Keep southern Maine Seniors and Their Pets Together

JUNE 28, 2017 (Scarborough, ME) – Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) is proud to announce that it has received a $1,500 grant from Meals on Wheels America (MOWA) to support the Best Friend Fund. 

Since 2010, SMAA’s Best Friend Fund has been helping low-income older adults in southern Maine pay for unexpected pet-related expenses so that they may remain living with their pet companion. The Fund assists older adults who are faced with losing their beloved pets because of unusual or expensive pet care costs. This grant from MOWA will be used to provide food, supplies and care for area clients with pets – all of which can be financially and physically burdensome for isolated older adults.

“Pets can combat the social isolation and depression that is prevalent in homebound older adults, but for many older adults it can be a difficult choice between providing necessary care for their pet or themselves. We are thankful to MOWA for helping to ease the burden by supporting the Best Friend Fund.” said Laurence Gross, SMAA Chief Executive Officer.

In total, Meals on Wheels America has granted $300,000 to 193 local Meals on Wheels programs through the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative this year. Funding is made possible in part through a donation from Banfield Charitable Trust (BCT). To date, the grant program has distributed more than $2.4 million in funding and pet food donations.

“While the benefits of companionship are clear, taking care of a pet can be financially and physically challenging for seniors,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “Meals on Wheels Loves Pets helps local Meals on Wheels providers alleviate this hardship and at the same time reduce the negative effects of isolation.” 

Since 1973, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging has provided residents of York and Cumberland counties with resources and assistance to address the issues and concerns of aging.  The Agency serves people ages 60 and older, family caregivers, and people under 60 with a disability.  Agency services are devoted to fulfilling its mission to improve the quality of life for older adults, adults with disabilities, and the people who care for them. For more information, visit www.smaaa.org

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.