PCMOW participating in March for Meals

COUNTY — Pickens County Meals on Wheels (PCMOW) is partnering with the Meals on Wheels Association of America in the 12th annual March for Meals campaign.

Its goals are to raise awareness of senior hunger in America and to encourage the local community to address the need.

March for Meals focuses on the continuing importance of home-delivered meals and the growing need for resources — both financial and human — as the elderly population increases and more Americans need community-based nutrition services.

Last year, PCMOW delivered more than 56,000 meals to eligible seniors in Pickens County. According to PCMOW executive director Meta Bowers, the impact Meals on Wheels has on the people it serves goes far beyond the lunches it provides.

“Volunteers provide safety checks to ensure that senior clients are safe and well,” she said. “Without these continued meal deliveries, many seniors would not have a connection to the outside world.”

During March, PCMOW will host a variety of awareness, fundraising and volunteer activities.

“Whether you are getting involved for the first time or you are a longtime supporter, your participation will make a difference in the lives of hundreds in our community,” Bowers said.

Listed below are several initiatives PCMOW is highlighting during its 2014 March for Meals campaign.

Take PCMOW for a Test Drive: If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to deliver meals to Pickens County seniors, during March for Meals you can see firsthand how simple and rewarding the experience can be. Each weekday, 23 Meals on Wheels volunteers are on the road delivering meals and companionship to homebound, disabled seniors in Pickens County. You can ride along with any of the volunteers as they make their deliveries. Meal delivery begins at 11 a.m. and takes about an hour and a half to complete. Call Bowers in advance to make arrangements at (864) 855-3770 ext. 303.

Buy a Senior Lunch: Donations to support the food distribution are always needed. A $5 donation will provide one individual with a hot meal delivered by a caring volunteer, or residents can join the Adopt-A-Senior program and make monthly donations to ensure that a Pickens County senior receives five meals weekly. You decide how much you want to donate from your bank or credit card each month. You can stop the monthly donation or change the amount of your gift at any time. If you donate $20 a month, that’s $240 annually — or more than 40 meals for deserving elderly clients.

Community Champion’s Week: Community Champions Week will be held during the week of March 17-21. Special emphasis will be placed on involving local mayors and other elected officials, as well as church, business and community leaders in all aspects of the program.

“Each year I am awed by the support our community provides,” Bowers said. “Yet, at the same time, I am also surprised by the fact that there are still so many that do not truly understand the importance of the work we do.”

According to Bowers, the state is witnessing an important change. For every senior who lived in South Carolina in 2000, by 2030 there will be more than two seniors who call South Carolina home. Pickens County will experience a similar elder explosion during this time. By 2020, one out of five Pickens County residents will be over the age of 65. By 2025, Pickens County’s senior population will be double what it was in 2004.

Bowers points out that to face the challenge, officials need to build a dynamic and effective partnership between Pickens County Meals on Wheels and the businesses, organizations, local governments and volunteers who give generously in the community. Supporting the Meals on Wheels program with your donations and volunteer efforts ensures that there will always be a meal, a friendly face and a safety check for Pickens County’s homebound seniors.

Stay up to date on campaign progress and activities through the Pickens County Meals on Wheels March for Meals Facebook Event page, and celebrate your contributions using #MarchforMeals.

For more information about Pickens County Meals on Wheels, call Bowers at (864) 855-3770 ext. 303 or visit