Many people know that Haywood County Meals on Wheels and volunteers deliver nutritious meals to seniors in Haywood County. However, many may not know that the program can also deliver pet food along with a meal to those who have furry four legged companions. Meals on Wheels is “more than just a meal” in that the program provides a daily healthy meal and also serves as a safety check for many who do not see or talk with anyone else throughout their day. Add pet food delivery to that list, and the program also helps combat loneliness and isolation by helping seniors keep their pets.
The benefits of seniors having a pet has been researched and finding show improved physical and mental health benefits that long term, could include “lower cholesterol levels, helping fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke” according to AgingInPlace.org. “Just 15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol, and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. The result: heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels immediately drop.”
Cat and dog food donations are requested to help fill this need for Haywood County seniors and their critters. “Food insecurity for seniors is a real issue, and we don’t want them to compromise their own nutrition by sharing their meal with a pet.” says Steffie Duginske, Program Supervisor. Help add calmness, companionship, daily exercise, purpose, security, and social components to seniors of Haywood County with a donation of pet food.
To inquire about donating pet food, volunteering, referring a senior in need, or making a general donation, contact Steffie Duginske at 356-2442 or by email at Steffie.Duginske@HaywoodCountyNC.gov.
Haywood County Meals on Wheels is a program of the Haywood County Health & Human Services Agency and is located at 157 Paragon Parkway Clyde, NC 28721
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