2019 March for Meals Senior Hunger Awareness Campaign
Uniting elected officials, business leaders and community champions to advocate for the vulnerable seniors who rely on Meals on Wheels of RI services to remain healthy and independent in their own homes.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse lent his support to our campaign to deliver meals to Warwick couple Michael and Catherine Kerrigan on March 29. The Kerrigans, both in their late ’80s, have been married for 65 years. Mr. Kerrigan, a Korean War veteran, was in the restaurant and catering business and Mrs. Kerrigan worked as a court stenographer. Both live with several debilitating medical conditions and really enjoy the meals they receive. Sen. Whitehouse was joined by Corey McCarty, vice president, consumer engagement, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the campaign’s premier sponsor.
World War II veteran Mr. Frank Caramadre, 92, drew quite a few smiles and laughs during his visit with R.I. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Doug Scala, regional president, Webster Bank, the campaign’s Golden Anniversary Year Sponsor. Mr. Caramadre immigrated to the United States when he was 13 years old and actually met his future wife while still living in Italy. He courted Teresa while she was living in Montreal and the couple married in the late 1950s. They were married for 56 years preceding her death in 2013. After earning a bachelor’s degree through the GI Bill, Mr. Caramadre became a bank examiner with the R.I. Department of Business Regulation and was named Banking Commissioner under Gov. Frank Licht. Before the visit concluded, Mr. Caramadre awed everyone with a reading of a poem he had translated from Italian.
Warwick Mayor Joseph Solomon joined our March for Meals campaign on March 26, delivering a meal to Warwick resident Shirley Gervais. A lifelong Rhode Islander, Ms. Gervais lives alone is rarely visited. Dante, her Chihuahua-Jack Russell Terrier mix, is her only regular company. Ms. Gervias, 71, lives with severe arthritis and frailty.
Mr. Vincent Hammon, 91, greatly enjoyed a visit from Rep. David Cicilline on March 22. Mr. Hammon, a North Providence resident, has been receiving meals since 2016 and is among the vast minority of our clients who are able to contribute a suggested $3.00 donation per meal. (Meals cost around $7.00 and only about 12 percent of our clients can afford the donation). The congressman and Mr. Hammon enjoyed a lovely conversation about our client’s long-lasting love for his wife, Virginia, who passed in August 2013, after the couple had been married for 65 years, and about his darling granddaughter, who visits regularly and brightens his live in many ways.
Mayor Allan Fung delivered a meal to Vincenzo DiPippo, an 84-year-old Cranston resident, on March 21. Mr. DiPippo, a Korean War veteran, must use a walker to get around his house and cannot safely leave home on his own. His daughter Lori also lives in Cranston and is able to help him with his shopping and banking, but cannot be with him every day. Mr. DiPippo also lives with several medical conditions, including heart disease. Mayor Fung and Mr. DiPippo enjoyed a lively chat during their visit.
Rep. Jim Langevin joined Meals on Wheels of RI to deliver a meal to a homebound senior in Warwick on March 15 as part of our March for Meals campaign. Mr. Theodore Desjardin, 61, has been homebound since a stroke left him with partial paralysis, among other health issues. He has been receiving home-delivered meals with us for about two years. A 12-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force, he also holds a black belt in karate.
On March 11, Scituate Town Council member Tim McCormick, Town Council President James Brady Jr. & Senior Services Director Dina Elhelw joined us during March for Meals to deliver a meal to a homebound senior in Scituate.
This client asked that we not take his photo, but wanted us to share how thankful he is for our program. A 71-year-old lifelong Scituate resident, he has severe COPD and is oxygen dependent. This makes it impossible for him to safely shop for or prepare a meal on his own. Though he can do things such as pour a bowl of cereal or heat up soup, the Meals on Wheels meal he receives allows him at least one complete and nutritious meal each week day.
Lt. Gov. Dan McKee Launches 2019 Golden Anniversary Year March for Meals Campaign
Lt. Gov. Dan McKee on March 1 kicked off Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island’s month-long campaign by delivering a meal to one of the thousands of homebound Rhode Island seniors who rely on the agency’s services to remain healthy and safe in their own homes.
“Our homebound senior neighbors depend on Meals on Wheels as a lifeline that keeps them healthy, safe and connected. For 50 years, this organization has provided vital services that vastly improve the lives of Rhode Island’s older adults. I’m honored to be joining the kickoff for March for Meals today,” said Lt. Gov. McKee, Chair of Rhode Island’s Long Term Care Coordinating Council.
Lt. Gov. McKee delivered a meal to and visited with Kathleen Beauregard, 76, a lifelong Cumberland resident who lost her husband to Alzheimer’s in 2002. Beauregard has been receiving meals for two years because she is unable to safely shop for or prepare a meal on her own.
Webster Bank Senior Vice President, Head of Government Lending Xay Khamsyvoravong accompanied the lieutenant governor. Webster Bank is this year’s March for Meals Golden Anniversary Sponsor and was the campaign’s presenting sponsor for six years.
The lieutenant governor and Mr. Khamsyvoravong visited Mrs. Beauregard for about half an hour, during which time they discussed all things Cumberland. Mrs. Beauregard also shared her tips for leading a good life, which include always thinking of others and never answering the door in your pajamas.
Thank You to Our Generous 2019 March for Meals Sponsors
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