Local Seniors receive Blizzard Bags

CVAA combats Senior Hunger in the Champlain Valley

Volunteers assemble Blizzard Bags at last year’s gathering.

Over 80 volunteers will gather at the Coca Cola plant on Hercules Drive in Colchester Sunday, Nov. 18 from 8:45-10 am to assemble 937 Blizzard Bags to help seniors make it through the long winter months. Each year CVAA delivers Blizzard Bags to seniors receiving Meals on Wheels. Each Blizzard Bag contains four shelf stable meals for seniors to have in their home to use when daily Meals on Wheels delivery is canceled.

According to Zoe Hardy, CVAA nutrition director, “We provide these Blizzard Bags for two reasons, to provide food for Meals on Wheels clients who may not be able to access food due to bad weather conditions and also to allow us to cancel delivery of meals on really bad weather days, as we are just as concerned about our volunteers’ safety.” CVAA staff and volunteers will deliver Blizzard Bags in Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties.

The challenging economy has had an impact on Vermont seniors and the agencies that serve them. CVAA’s Meals on Wheels program has seen the demand for Meals on Wheels increase as the cost of food has risen. Many seniors rely on CVAA’s Meals on Wheels to provide hot nutritious meals that can help them maintain their independence and health in their own homes. Last year alone, over 245,000 Meals on Wheels were served to seniors in the Champlain Valley. Hundreds of CVAA volunteers each day deliver meals to seniors in every community, no matter how remote.

According to Hardy, she has “known a volunteer to trudge through knee deep snow to bring a meal. Blizzard Bags alleviate some of our worries about the most isolated seniors we serve.” Blizzard Bags contain food that is easy to prepare, is shelf stable, and provides the protein and nutrition seniors need. “We look for high protein such as tuna and soups,” Hardy explains. “We make sure that each of the meals meets the Older American’s Act food guidelines for protein, fruit, vegetables, whole grain, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.” Blizzard Bags is just one more way that CVAA works to make sure that no senior goes hungry in the Champlain Valley.

For more information, call 1-800-642-5119 or click on cvaa.org.

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