Home Community Daughters of Penelope Donates $10,000 to Meals on Wheels America

Daughters of Penelope Donates $10,000 to Meals on Wheels America

WASHINGTON, DC – The Daughters of Penelope (DOP), a leading international service organization comprised of women of Hellenic heritage and Philhellenes, donated $10,000 to Meals on Wheels America, on March 24.

“We are proud to support the worthy mission of Meals on Wheels America and its vision of an America in which all seniors live nourished lives with independence and dignity”, said Grand President Kathy Bizoukas presenting the donation to Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander.

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation.

This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity.  By providing funding, leadership, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time.

“We are especially delighted to be able to present our donation during Meals on Wheels America’s March for Meals campaign, a month-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program. The program provides funding for nutrition services for seniors and helps support programs such as Meals on Wheels”, Bizoukas added.

The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older.

This legislation supported the rapid growth of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs – commonly referred to as Meals on Wheels – that collectively served more than 223 million meals to over 2.4 million seniors prior to the pandemic.

This is DOP’s fifth $10,000 donation over the past five years to Meals on Wheels America. “Our support dovetails with our community service programs that assist our nation’s older adults who are in need”, Bizoukas noted. “For example, Meals on Wheels serves many residents of AHEPA’s and Daughters’ 87 affordable senior housing communities”.

The donation was made possible by the late Nicholas Economy. “The Daughters of Penelope is proud to honor his memory and his wishes to help the elderly in need”, DOP Grand President said.

“We commend the Daughters of Penelope for continuing to support our work to address senior isolation and hunger, especially as the post-pandemic demand for services remains high and operational and food costs continue to soar”, Hollander said. “We also appreciate their timely donation as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program and seek to bolster this vital public-private partnership for decades to come”.

Executive Director Elena Saviolakis accompanied Bizoukas to the presentation. Meals on Wheels America’s Chief Development Officer Kristine Templin accompanied President and CEO Hollander.

Founded in San Francisco in 1929, the Daughters of Penelope (DOP) is the first women’s service organization of its kind established in the United States.  It is an affiliate organization of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA). Its mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence.

For more information about the DOP, or any of its programs or projects, please visit www.daughtersofpenelope.org.