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Unless you own a toilet paper factory, you'd be hard pressed to find someone whose finances and/or livelihood weren't negatively impacted by COVID-19. Now, two years after the first wave of lockdowns in the United States, the economic effects of the pandemic are still being felt by families and individuals across the country in spite of the significant strides made toward recovery.

A common misconception about weatherization is that it's only useful for people who live in extreme climates and whose houses need to be able to withstand significant temperature changes. In fact, everyone can benefit from weatherization, which is simply the process of making a home more energy-efficient. While weatherization does help to control temperature fluctuations, thereby keeping inhabitants comfortable, it also comes with a host of other benefits:

For an organization that is now a widely known household name, Meals on Wheels came from humble beginnings. The first known Meals on Wheels delivery was orchestrated in 1954 by a small group of Philadelphia residents. Since then, the program has expanded dramatically. Now, Meals on Wheels delivers 221 million meals to 2.4 million seniors each year.

March for Meals

March is a special month for Meals on Wheels. In March of 1972, President Nixon signed an amendment to the Older Americans Act, thereby implementing a national nutrition program for seniors over the age of 60. The result was crucial federal funding for Meals on Wheels, which to this day allows the program to carry out its vital work. Each year, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country come together to celebrate March for Meals, the name given to the anniversary of this historic event.

March for Meals Turns 50

The 2022 March for Meals campaign marks the 50-year anniversary of the amendment that allows Meals on Wheels to continue to fulfill its mission: serving and empowering seniors to live happy, healthy, independent lives. In addition to delivering nutritious food to the seniors who might otherwise struggle with food insecurity, Meals on Wheels provides important social interaction to its recipients.

Support Meals on Wheels by Supporting Spectrum Community Services

This year, Spectrum Community Services is celebrating March for Meals with our Twilight Tasting fundraising event, a benefit conducted in partnership with Page Mill Winery. The proceeds of the event will go toward supporting low-income families and seniors in our target area. Help us in our goal of reducing food insecurity in Alameda County!

Spectrum Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income families, seniors, and individuals in Alameda County. Through financial assistance and other services, our goal is to support community members in building healthy, safe, and independent lives. Visit our website for more information on our senior meals program or to download a copy of our utility assistance application.

When Pamela Nicole Gaskins applied for help to make her Hayward home more energy efficient, she had no idea she would end up starring in Spectrum’s new 30-second public service announcement about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Pamela was so pleased with the camaraderie and weather-stripping work of Spectrum installation crew members Greg Albright and Eric Bake that she called the office to ask for a job. While there were no administrative openings that matched the skills of the retired AT&T office manager, Spectrum did need a volunteer–an actual client–to feature in the ad. So on a sunny day in November, Pamela graciously opened her home to the camera and weatherization crew and nailed the scenes for the ad.

LIHEAP customer service representatives Hellas Leung voiced the Cantonese and Mandarin translations, and Angelica Suarez voiced the Spanish translation. Tell us what you think! Email your feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click "Read More" to see the videos.

Good nutrition is essential for people of all ages, and that's no less true for seniors. A healthy diet is one of the building blocks of good mental and physical health and overall well-being.

However, elderly individuals may face unique difficulties in maintaining a healthy diet compared to the general population. For example, it's natural for your appetite to decrease as you age, leading to overall lower food intake (and consequently, less opportunity to consume healthy foods). Additionally, seniors who no longer have access to transportation, or who struggle with mobility, may find grocery shopping or cooking difficult. As a result, many seniors opt to skip meals, or consume easy junk foods instead.

Disease Prevention

Maintaining a nutrient-rich diet keeps you physically healthy in a variety of ways. In addition to helping your body maintain an appropriate weight, keeping the digestive system healthy, and boosting immunity, a healthy diet for seniors can help prevent against the following serious diseases:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer

Better Cognitive Function

Good nutrition doesn't just help your body—it can also have a positive impact on your mind. Studies suggest that a healthy diet can help protect against cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, or can slow their progress for individuals who have already been affected. Nutrition strategies for keeping your mind sharp include reducing sugar intake, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and consuming plenty of healthy fats, particularly omega-3s.

Maintain Mobility

Recent research has indicated that diet plays a significant role in preventing disability in seniors. In particular, antioxidant nutrients typically found in fruits and vegetables (such as vitamins, carotenoids, and selenium) are connected with lower rates of disability and functional limitations.

On top of that, experts agree that maintaining a diet with adequate amounts of calcium, protein, and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis and maintain musculoskeletal health. Seniors who have a healthy bone mass are at reduced risk for potentially dangerous fractures, and those who do experience fractures are more likely to have an easier recovery.

If you or someone you know is a senior who is struggling to maintain a healthy diet, it may be time to consider looking for help in the form of a senior meals program. Spectrum Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income families, seniors, and individuals in Alameda County. Through financial assistance and other services, our goal is to support community members in building healthy, safe, and independent lives. Visit our website for more information or to help provide a meal for a low income senior.