Tampa Meals on Wheels Adds Water on Wheels
Volunteers will deliver bottled water along with daily meals to everyone on the Tampa Meals on Wheels program.
TAMPA – Meals On Wheels of Tampa will launch new program, Water On Wheels, to encourage daily hydration.
The program, in partnership with the Lightning Foundation and Lightning Community Heroes Program, will provide 8-ounce bottles of water each day to Meals On Wheels clients. The program will begin Tuesday (Jan. 3).
The water will be delivered with the daily hot meal to more than 700 senior and homebound meal recipients in Tampa. Water is free of charge. This program is a vital component to the agency’s 41-year old mission of nourishing, enriching and strengthening the independent lives of seniors and homebound, because seniors are more at risk of dehydration.
The WOW program was developed by Meals On Wheels of Tampa’s high school leadership board this past year to encourage healthy hydration. The program was developed directly in response to results collected from a survey that was sent out last year to the 700 clients. The student-led group, which is comprised of juniors and seniorss from five local high schools, raised funds during the past year to provide reusable water tumblers, flavor packets, and educational materials to the 700-plus seniors and homebound served by MOW Tampa. The group also organized Tampa’s first ever Student Music Fest to benefit the WOW program.
The student board president, Maggie Fitzsimmons, a senior at Plant High School, applied for and received the first ever Lightning Community Heroes of Tomorrow award. The grant enables clients to receive daily water every weekday throughout 2017.
“My grandfather was a recipient of Meals On Wheels. My dad and I used to go to the story to buy him cases of water bottles because we knew Meals On Wheels did not provide that,” Fitzsimmons said. “Seeing I could do that for my grandfather, I realize there are probably a lot of Recipients that don’t have somebody to do that for them. Drinking water is important for reveryone, but especially important for the health of seniors and homebound.”
Volunteers will receive a series of communications before the WOW program launch, with tips regarding consumption and reminders to recycle. Recipients will also receive educational information about hydration throughout the year. Feedback will also be collected from clients and volunteers to evaluate the effectiveness of this program on Tampa’s seniors and homebound.
“The high school leadership board is so excited for the chance to bring our project Water on Wheels to life! So much time and thought has gone into the initial fundraiser to raise money to benefit our mission to hydrate the homebound in Tampa,” said Bridget O’Carroll, senior at Berkeley Preparatory School.
For information about Meals on Wheels Tampa, go to mowtampa.org.
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