ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque announced today that it received a $20,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico’s (BCBSNM) Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative. The grant will support Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque’s LIFE program, which delivers nutritious, medically-tailored meals to seniors and other community members who have low incomes. The LIFE program serves people who are homebound, experiencing food insecurity and whose incomes are between 0% and 150% of the federal poverty level.
All meals are designed to meet the needs of clients living with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque is the only organization that provides such home-delivered meals to anyone in the community for any reason.
“Most of the people we serve aren’t eligible to receive meals from any other program and are managing chronic conditions that are affected by diet and nutrition,” said Shauna Frost, Meals on Wheels’ executive director. “Without us, they just go without. I’d say most of the people who receive our meals are seniors, but we have also served children with cancer and their families, people who are injured at work and on temporary disability — a wide range of people who can’t make their own food — whether it’s for a short or a long period of time.”
This grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico will provide 2,777 meals for people in this community. It will help people like Michael, a grandfather and widower who beat cancer twice. He receives meals through the LIFE program. As often as possible, the meals include locally-grown produce, which is more nutritious than vegetables shipped across the country. Michael deals with long-term effects from the radiation that helped him beat cancer as well as a blood condition that limits his mobility, making it hard for him to shop and cook for himself. He credits Meals on Wheels with helping him remain healthy enough to enjoy visits with his daughter and two grandchildren.
“Supporting seniors and other community members experiencing food insecurity is a key priority of our community giving at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico,” said Janice Torrez, BCBSNM president. “Nutrition greatly impacts a person’s ability to manage disease and live a healthy life. Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque is helping older adults access the nutritious food they need.”
BCBSNM’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant initiative is part of an ongoing commitment to invest in and partner with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs in nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, and supporting safe environments. Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque’s commitment to supporting the health and wellness of our most vulnerable homebound neighbors aligns with the vision of Healthy Kids, Healthy Families to improve the health of children and their families across New Mexico.
About Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque
Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1972 by a group of women from Presbyterian Churches around Albuquerque. For 50 years, this program has been entirely locally run. We began with 20 clients and 40 volunteers. Today we serve approximately 1500 clients and have over 550 volunteers each year. We delivered 9,400 meals in 1972. Today we are delivering over 130,000 meals a year. Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque provides nutritious meals and crucial social contact each day. Not only do we provide friendship and compassion but we also check the wellbeing of those we serve.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is one of the largest commercial health insurers in New Mexico with more than 680,000 New Mexicans carrying a Blue Cross and Blue Shield card. Since 1940, BCBSNM has been committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSNM is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.