The Daughters of Penelope (DOP), a leading international service organization comprised of women of Greek heritage and philhellenes, made a $10,000 donation to Meals on Wheels America on Thursday.
Grand President Kathy Bizoukas presented the donation to Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander.
“We are proud to support the worthy mission of Meals on Wheels America and its vision of an America in which all seniors live nourished lives with independence and dignity,” Bizoukas said.
“We are especially delighted to be able to present our donation during Meals on Wheels America’s March for Meals campaign, a month-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program,” the president said. “The program provides funding for nutrition services for seniors and helps support programs such as Meals on Wheels.”
The $10,000 grant by Daughters of Penelope marks the fifth such donation over the past five years to Meals on Wheels America, the country’s leading organization to address senior hunger and isolation.
Meals on Wheels supports the more than 5,000 community-based programs nationwide dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. The organization consists of more than two million staff and volunteers who provide funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support.
“We commend the Daughters of Penelope for continuing to support our work to address senior isolation and hunger, especially as the post-pandemic demand for services remains high and operational and food costs continue to soar,” Hollander said. “We also appreciate their timely donation as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program and seek to bolster this vital public-private partnership for decades to come.”
The annual March for Meals campaign commemorates the day in March 1972 when President Richard Nixon amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older.
This legislation supported the rapid growth of nationwide senior nutrition programs – commonly referred to as Meals on Wheels – which served more than 223 million meals to more than 2.4 million seniors before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our support of Meals on Wheels America dovetails with our community service programs that assist our nation’s older adults who are in need,” Bizoukas said. “For example, Meals on Wheels serves many residents of AHEPA’s and Daughters’ 87 affordable senior housing communities.”
The donation was made possible by the late Nicholas Economy.
“The Daughters of Penelope is proud to honor his memory and his wishes to help the elderly in need,” Bizoukas said.
Executive Director Elena Saviolakis accompanied Bizoukas to the presentation while Meals on Wheels America’s Chief Development Officer Kristine Templin accompanied Hollander.
Founded in San Francisco in 1929, the Daughters of Penelope is the first women’s service organization of its kind established in the United States. The organization is an affiliate of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA).
DOP’s mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence.
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