Over 80 volunteers gathered at the Coca Cola plant on Hercules Drive in Colchester Sunday, Nov. 16 to assemble 920 Blizzard Bags to help seniors make it through the long winter months. Each year Champlain Valley Association on Aging (CVAA) delivers Blizzard Bags to seniors receiving Meals on Wheels.
According to Zoe Hardy, CVAA Nutrition Director “Every Meals on Wheels client CVAA serves receives a Blizzard Bag in November containing four shelf stable meals. These bags are intended to provide shelf stable food for our clients to have for upcoming winter snowstorms or some other emergency they may have and cannot access food.” CVAA staff and volunteers will deliver Blizzard Bags in Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties.
Many seniors rely on CVAA’s Meals on Wheels to provide hot nutritious meals that can help them maintain their independence and health in their own homes. Last year alone over 206,000 Meals on Wheels were served to seniors in the Champlain Valley. Hundreds of CVAA volunteers each day deliver meals to seniors in every community, no matter how remote.
According to Hardy, she has “known a volunteer to trudge through knee deep snow to bring a meal. Blizzard Bags alleviate some of our worries about the most isolated seniors we serve.” Blizzard Bags contain food that is easy to prepare, is shelf stable, and provides the protein and nutrition seniors need. “We look for high protein such as tuna and soups.” Hardy explains, “we make sure that each of the meals meets the Older American’s Act food guidelines for protein, fruit, vegetables, whole grain, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.” Blizzard Bags are just one more way that CVAA works to make sure that no senior goes hungry in the Champlain Valley.