FAMILY MATTERS OF GREATER WASHINGTON ANNOUNCES WALMART FOUNDATION GRANT TO SUPPORT “HEALTHY LIVING NO SENIOR HUNGRY” INITIATIVE
Washington, DC – Family Matters of Greater Washington (FMGW), one of the oldest, nationally accredited social services organizations in the nation, announced today a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to support its “Healthy Living No Senior Hungry” initiative, which provides healthy meals and nutrition counseling for under-served seniors in the District of Columbia’s Ward 8.
“Ward 8 seniors live in a food desert, with only one full service grocery store, and a few farmers markets and healthy food providers to provide fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy, non-processed food sources,” noted Tonya Jackson Smallwood, president and CEO of Family Matters. “With the support of Walmart, one of our nation’s leaders in sustainability and corporate philanthropy, Family Matters will be able to train Home Health Aides on the preparation of healthy, dietary meals for seniors. We will also provide a nutritious home delivered meal to additional home bound seniors that will supplement the meals we are providing through our partnership with the DC Office on Aging.”
“The Walmart Foundation is proud to work with Family Matters of Greater Washington to combat the barriers seniors in our community face when trying to meet their basic, nutritional needs,” said Jennifer Hoehn, Director of Public Affairs for Walmart. “Nutrition education and access to healthy foods are vital for all of our communities and we are committed to working together to help older adults in Ward 8 live better.”
In addition to providing healthy, dietary meals for seniors in Ward 8, the program also has the side benefit of enabling isolated seniors to remain in their homes and age in place rather than being removed from their homes and placed in nursing or assisted care facilities. Home visiting programs like “Healthy Living No Senior Hungry” also help combat social isolation in seniors by improving access to self-care support services (i.e. fitness classes), social contacts, and overall quality of life for seniors.
Approximately 17 percent of U.S. seniors live alone and face barriers related to geographic location, language, or disability; one in seven is threatened by hunger. In the District of Columbia, hunger, and nearly 35,000 are living on or near the poverty line.
“Research has shown that when seniors have the right supports, they gain a greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and ultimately live longer,” noted Rinaldo Washington, Family Matters’ Program Director for Ward 8. “Receiving nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks will help the seniors we serve combat the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence. We thank Walmart for their generous contribution in support of a program that is making a difference for District seniors.”
About Family Matters of Greater Washington (www.familymattersdc.org)
Family Matters of Greater Washington is a non-government, nonprofit organization accredited by the Council on Accreditation Services for Families and Children, Inc. and the American Camping Association. Formerly known as Family and Child Services of Washington, D.C., Inc., Family Matters was founded in 1882 and has been an integral part of the Washington, D.C. community for more than 134 years. One of the oldest, nationally accredited social services organizations in the nation, Family Matters provides comprehensive, accessible, low-fee services to thousands of residents of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Family Matters of Greater Washington is a member of the Child Welfare League of America and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.
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