Business support keeps meals on wheels rolling
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Two area businesses have teamed up to support the Meals on Wheels program of the Aroostook Agency on Aging.
Financial and in-kind donations from Percy’s Auto Sales have enabled the nonprofit organization to replace the older of two service vans used each week to deliver nutrition services to older persons and those with disabilities throughout northern Maine. Agency officials took delivery of the 2019 RAM Promaster 1500 cargo van recently and it has already logged many miles.
“It is Percy’s absolute pleasure to support the Aroostook Agency on Aging Meals on Wheels program. Nutrition services are crucial, and our county is fortunate to have this program for our home-bound folks, helping them continue to live independently. We are thrilled and honored to be a part of the Meals on Wheels program,” said Ryan Rackliffe, general manager of the Presque Isle dealership.
Fort Kent-based Daigle Oil Company will donate fuel for the next year for the two vans that serve agency nutrition programs county-wide. The other vehicle delivers meals to consumers in the St. John Valley.
Daigle Oil Company Brand Manager Sonya Dechene LeBoeuf explained why the employee owned business supported the project. “As Aroostook County ages and as demand for food continues, especially since COVID-19, the need for nourishment is real and in the very communities we serve. Daigle Oil believes in supporting seniors in these communities. By making a fuel donation to the Meals on Wheels program, we know our donation will help nourish seniors and help reduce hunger and isolation in The County,” she said.
Meals on Wheels is offered by the Aroostook Agency on Aging and provides home-delivered food to older adults in the region. The agency has provided Meals on Wheels for decades in concert with other nutrition programs, including congregate dining centers and the USDA Senior Food Box program. These services are made possible through a mix of governmental, local and private support, along with many community partnerships with organizations such as the United Way of Aroostook and Catholic Charities.
According to Chris Beaulieu, the Agency on Aging’s director of home care and nutrition services, a significant portion of Agency nutrition programs are directed at the central region of Aroostook. With 275 consumers, two senior dining centers and nine USDA Commodity Supplemental Food distribution sites, regular and reliable transportation of food to and throughout this region is imperative, he explained.
“Having enough food is a concern shared by many people in our region, especially those on a fixed income or who have limited mobility,” said Beaulieu. “Our goal is to serve as many older adults as we can. Every bit of community support we receive, whether in the form of a van, fuel, donation or volunteer, makes a difference as it allows us to feed more people. It is all about helping those in our community who need more food.”
For more information or to become involved with the Meals on Wheels program as a donor or volunteer, please call the agency at 764-3396 or toll free at 800-439-1789. There are also more details online at www.aroostookaging.org.