CVCOA Receives Grant To Provide Local Produce to Vt. Seniors

Communities / Feb. 27, 2014 11:10am EST

The Central Vermont Council on Aging recently announced that it has received a $75,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation for the “Healthy Eating as We Age” program.

This grant will further CVCOA’s mission to support elders and family caregivers by purchasing locallygrown produce for use in meals prepared for older central Vermonters at CVCOA-sponsored meal sites.

“‘Healthy Eating’ is based in the history and culture of Vermont,” said Kathy Paquet, CVCOA’s Nutrition and Wellness Director. “Many of the seniors we serve have a direct connection to farming through their families, so they know how tough but gratifying farming can be. Through this program, we are supporting the local community by helping the next generations of farmers, while also using a smaller footprint to provide local, nutritious food for seniors. This helps to keep our elders in central Vermont healthy and independent as long as possible.”

CVCOA sponsors 14 senior center meal sites in central Vermont where over 185,000 meals are served each year. Community meals are served to elders who can travel to these sites and meals-onwheels are delivered to those who are homebound.

“Healthy Eating as We Age” was designed to provide ways to increase nutritional wellbeing for approximately 2,100 central

Vermont seniors participating in these programs while also enhancing the local economy by purchasing fresh produce from central Vermont farmers. The program received the Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging in 2013 as a successful program that improves the lives of older adults.

It was also featured in the annual report of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent

Living as a highlight of 2013.

As part of its State Giving Program, the Walmart Foundation directs charitable giving toward one of its core focus areas—hunger relief and healthy eating. In 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation launched “Fighting Hunger Together,” an initiative that leverages Walmart’s size and resources to provide nutritious food and the Walmart Foundation’s ability to grant funding to nonprofits that help elevate the issue.

The Central Vermont Council on Aging supports elders in leading healthy, independent, meaningful and dignified lives in their homes and communities in 54 central Vermont towns. CVCOA is located at 59 North Main St., Suite 200 in Barre, with regional offices located in Morrisville, Randolph, South Royalton, and Rochester. For more information, visit www.cvcoa.org or call the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-642-5119.

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