Salina is one of only a handful of locations across the country where seniors enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program can also get food delivered for their pets.
Rosie Walter from the Saline County of Department of Senior Services tells KSAL News the county offers free healthcare and food for pets of seniors who already utilize the Meals On Wheels program, further supporting homebound senior citizens of Salina.
One in four seniors lives alone and, for many of them, their pet is their closest companion and one of their only sources of consistent comfort. Pets play a very important role in the life of a homebound older adult, providing social connection and enhancing their physical and mental health and well-being.
Homebound seniors often go without needed food in order to ensure their pet companion will have something to eat.
By providing not only a hot nutritious meal for them, the program can also make sure their furry friends are also taken care of.
The Meals On Wheels program enables seniors to stay in their homes longer by having a volunteer that greets them
with a hot meal and a daily contact. The volunteer is often the only human contact this senior sees or speaks to.
The pet food program was started via grant funding.