West Herr Subaru “Shares the Love” with Meals on Wheels for WNY

West Herr Subaru recently “shared the love” with Meals on Wheels for WNY.  At the end of 2017, as part of the annual “Share the Love” campaign, local Subaru dealers had the opportunity to add a local charity to the list of organizations to which purchasers could designate a donation.  West Herr Subaru once again selected Meals on Wheels for WNY.

In conjunction with the year-end campaign, Subaru of America (SOA) on behalf of West Herr Subaru, recently presented Meals on Wheels for WNY with a check for $44,110.

“We are tremendously grateful for the continued support of everyone involved with this event including the West Herr owners, General Manager Chuck Hardy, the West Herr sales team, and the Western New Yorkers who’ve purchased or leased new cars and selected Meals on Wheels for WNY as their charity of choice,” Chris Procknal, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels for WNY, said. “This incredible community support truly keeps Meals on Wheels on the road!”

Pictured here (from left to right) are Lisa Woodring, Chief Development Officer, Meals on Wheels Foundation of Western New York, Inc.; Chris Procknal, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels for Western New York, Inc.; Chuck Hardy, General Manager, West Herr Subaru/Kia; and Adam Kovalsky, District Sales Manager – District VI, Subaru of America.

Learn more about West Herr at www.westherr.com.

National Women’s Health Week

By Nicole Goben MS, RD, CDN

Not only is Mother’s Day a time to appreciate and honor your mother but it’s also the start of National Women’s Health Week! In this day and age women and mothers tend to be spread thin; between work and parenting, their own health concerns tend to drop off the to-do list. National Women’s Health week is intended to encourage women to put themselves first and make their own health a priority.

Some steps you can take to improve your health are:
1. Make sure you’re up to date with your yearly checkups and preventative screenings.

2. Take steps to improve your diet:
a. Grab a water bottle instead of sugary drinks like soda or lemonade.
b. Choose to snack on fruit or vegetables instead of chips or vending machine food.
c. Host a potluck salad bar at work to encourage co-workers to eat healthy as well.

3. Get active! Spring is the perfect time to increase your activity level, no need to hit the gym when you can simply get outside and get moving:
a. Organize a walk at lunch with your co-workers.
b. Get your family outside to play yard games such as kickball, bean bag toss, capture the flag or relay races.
c. Look up nature trails in your area and take a friend with you for a hike.

4. Pay attention to your mental health
a. Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
b. Take time to do activities that relax you like reading a book, listening to music, doing yoga, coloring or painting.
c. Try aromatherapy scents. Lavender, chamomile and sandalwood are the most relaxing.
d. Get out in the sunshine: Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase levels of serotonin, which improves mood and focus.
e. Once again, exercise! Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep and ward off anxiety and depression.

5. Avoid dangerous behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking and distracted driving (e.g., don’t use your cell phone in the car).

So, when Women’s Health Week comes around May 13th, try a couple of these tips to improve your health, and encourage the mothers and women in your life to do the same!

Honoring 28 Volunteers Reaching 20, 25 and 30 Years of Service!

Meals on Wheels for Western New York is proud to honor our milestone volunteers as part of National Volunteer Month!

Daily meal delivery wouldn’t be possible without the help of 1,700 dedicated volunteers who deliver the meals to the homebound clients.  For some of those volunteers, the experience becomes a permanent part of their lives. This year, Meals on Wheels honored 28 volunteers who have reached 20, 25, or 30 years of service.

These milestone volunteers were honored at an event on April 26. The honorees were celebrated during the program and enjoyed music, food and drinks alongside their family and friends.

The following individuals were honored this year:
• 30 years, Kathie Brinkworth, South Buffalo Site
• 30 years, Joan Darstein, West Seneca Site
• 30 years, Jane Giardina, West Seneca Site
• 30 years, Richard Petersen, Colden Site
• 30 years, Betty Roaldi, Lancaster Site
• 30 years, Phyllis Saviola, South Cheektowaga Site
• 30 years, Frank Spinner, West Side Site
• 30 years, Ann Wargula, South Cheektowaga Site
• 25 years, Nancy Brundage, Clarence Site
• 25 years, Betty Hermann, Boston Site
• 25 years, Marian Kihl, Lancaster Site
• 25 years, Robert Morey, West Seneca Site
• 25 years, Martha Mummery, East Aurora Site
• 25 years, Stanley Pawelek, East Aurora Site
• 20 years, May Bieth, Orchard Park Site
• 20 years, Carol Ann and Joseph Bove, South Cheektowaga Site
• 20 years, Carolyn and George Dorigo, Clarence Site
• 20 years, Kim and Jerry Kucharski, Lancaster Site
• 20 years, Jan Majors, Lancaster Site
• 20 years, Carol Montfort, South Cheektowaga Site
• 20 years, Brenda Rockwood, Orchard Park Site
• 20 years, Kathy Schiffler, Orchard Park Site
• 20 years, Virginia Thessen, East Aurora Site
• 20 years, Jean Trank Patterson, East Aurora Site
• 20 years, Mary Williams, Orchard Park Site

“It’s incredible to think about the number of volunteers that we have who reach these impressive service milestones,” Chris Procknal, President and CEO, MOW-WNY, said. “It’s rare for someone to stay at a paid job for 20, 25 or 30 years – let alone a volunteer opportunity. But many of our volunteers become close friends with the clients and the regular meal delivery visits become as important to our volunteers as they are to our clients. We are so incredibly grateful.”

See the photo album on Facebook! Click here.

The Health Benefits of Volunteering

By Dawna Bennett, MS, RD, CDN

Global estimates place the number of volunteers worldwide at 970 million. According to a study published by John Hopkins University, the hours volunteers contribute are the equivalent of more than 125 million full-time workers! Approximately one in four volunteers contribute their time and skills through not-for-profit organizations. Others do so directly, helping their neighbors as well as their communities.

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer? Volunteers play a critical role, not only in the lives of others but in their own lives. The 2009 Johns Hopkins University study revealed that volunteering increases the functioning of a person’s brain. Volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time. Volunteering can lead to better health. Older volunteers are the most likely to receive the physical and mental health benefits from their volunteering activities. Research continues to show that older volunteers experience greater increases in life satisfaction and greater positive changes in their perceived health as a result of volunteering. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Even when controlling other factors such as age, health and gender, research has found that when individuals volunteer, they are more likely to live longer.

Volunteering also is a great way to meet new people who share common interests. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to participate in activities together. It also makes your body feel good by releasing endorphins, just like a vigorous workout. That means the more you volunteer, the happier you become!

The best way to volunteer is to match your personality and interests with the volunteer opportunities available in your community. Meals on Wheels for WNY is just one example of where you can volunteer your time and give back to the community while helping you to stay healthy and live longer.

Happy National Volunteer Month!

April is National Volunteer Month! We’re thankful for each and every one of our 1,700 volunteers who serve our homebound and disabled neighbors year round. The dedication of these individuals, and the support of our 87 Adopt-A-Route organizations, gives us the ability to serve those in need all across Erie County. As a thank you, each volunteer received a small Meals on Wheels gift this month as a token of our appreciation.

Our Volunteer Hall of Fame, holding the photo and name of hundreds of long term volunteers, has been repainted and refreshed. This display is a permanent fixture at the Meals on Wheels main office, standing in constant dedication to the many generous Western New Yorkers who empower this program to aid those in need. On April 26, we will hold a Volunteer Recognition Dinner to honor the volunteers reaching 20, 25, 30, and 35 year milestones with our organization. Their photos will be added to our Hall of Fame as thanks to their decades-long service to the homebound elderly and disabled individuals of our community.

Thank you to all of our amazing delivery volunteers, Adopt-A-Route partners, and front desk volunteers for your ongoing support of our Meals on Wheels program. Happy National Volunteer Day!

What are Triglycerides?

By Jennifer Carland, RD, CDN

Triglycerides are the type of fat carried in our blood. They not only come from the fat in the foods we eat, but also the overconsumption of calories, sugar and alcohol. These excess calories are automatically converted to triglycerides and stored in the body as fat. Some triglycerides are necessary to protect our organs and for energy, but too high a level of triglycerides increases the risk of heart disease.

How do I know if I have a high level of triglycerides?
Your doctor may order blood work for you at your annual physical (or as needed) to test things such as your triglycerides. Triglyceride levels are tested as part of the “lipid profile,” which also tests for the amounts of total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. This blood test should be taken after 12 hours of fasting as triglycerides are higher after eating a meal.

A normal level of triglycerides is under 150 mg/dl; borderline is 151 – 200 mg/dl; high is 200 – 499 mg/dl; and very high is 500 mg/dl or higher. Anything over 200 means that you are at increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death. If you have this blood work done, your doctor should discuss your results with you.

Whether you’ve had this blood test done or not, everyone can benefit from eating a healthier diet.

How can I lower my triglycerides?
A healthy diet, regular exercise, limiting alcohol intake, and losing weight and/or maintaining a healthy weight can all help lower triglycerides. Discuss with your doctor before starting any exercise programs, and decide together if medication may also be necessary.

• Limit unhealthy fats such as saturated fats and trans fats, which are found in foods such as butter, cheese and other dairy products with high fat content, baked goods, fried foods, meat and poultry.

• Eat healthier fats including polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, omega-3s and omega-6s, which are found in foods such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, fish, and low-fat dairy products.

  • Omega-3s have particularly been found to help lower triglycerides. It is also important to know that omega-3s are not    made by the body; we must consume foods with omega-3s in order to survive.
  • The recommended adequate intake of omega-3s for adults is 1.1 – 1.6 grams each day. In order to meet these needs, try to consume fatty fish at least twice a week, including tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovy, halibut, and any fresh water fish. Don’t like eating fish? Other sources of omega-3s include flaxseeds, chia seeds, canola oil, soy, walnuts, mayonnaise, refried beans, baked beans and kidney beans.

• Limit simple carbohydrates and added sugars found in candy, syrups, soft drinks, processed and packaged baked goods.

• Limit starchy carbohydrates including refined/enriched pastas and breads made with white flour as well as potatoes.

• Consume more nutritious carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals; brown rice; ancient grains; oats; fruits; vegetables; beans and legumes.

What you eat can have a tremendous impact on your health. Follow these and other healthy tips to enjoy your best health.

Champions for Meals Draws 45 VIPs!

Meals on Wheels for Western New York (MOW) serves meals to more than 3,400 homebound clients each year, helping the frail and ill elderly or disabled enjoy the highest level of independence possible.

Each year, MOW participates in “Champions for Meals,” a chance to share the meal delivery experience with government officials and local celebrities.

Champions for Meals 2018 is March 19 – 23 and MOW will host an amazing 45 VIPs during the period!  Thank you to all of our participating VIPs!

• Office of Congressman Chris Collins
• Office of Congressman Brian Higgins

• NYS Senator Timothy Kennedy
• NYS Assemblyman Michael Norris
• Office of Senator Patrick Gallivan
• Office of Senator Michael Ranzenhofer

• Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz
• Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns
• Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw
• Erie County Senior Services Commissioner Timothy Hogues
• Erie County Legislator April Baskin
• Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon
• Erie County Legislator John Bruso
• Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo
• Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams
• Erie County Legislator Edward Rath
• Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard

• Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown
• Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder
• Common Councilman Joel Feroleto
• Common Councilman Richard Fontana (regular volunteer)
• Common Councilman Christopher Scanlon
• Common Councilman Rasheed Wyatt

• Aurora Supervisor James Bach
• Boston Supervisor Jason Keding
• Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski
• Cheektowaga Senior Center Director Kerry Peak
• Cheektowaga Councilwoman Linda Hammer
• Cheektowaga Councilman Brian Nowak
• Cheektowaga Councilwoman Christine Adamczyk
• Colden Supervisor James DePasquale
• Depew Mayor Jesse Nikonowicz
• Elma Supervisor Dennis Powers
• Evans Supervisor Mary Hosler
• Hamburg Supervisor James Shaw
• Hamburg Director of Youth, Recreation & Senior Services Marty Denecke
• Lancaster Mayor William Schroeder
• Orchard Park Supervisor Patrick Keem

• Buffalo Bills Alumni Manager Jeremy Kelley
• Buffalo Sabres Alumni Craig Muni
• Buffalo Sabres Alumni Harry Neale
• Buffalo Sabres Alumni Derek Smith
• Buffalo Sabres Alumni Morris Titanic
• Cumulus Radio’s Chris Klein (weekly volunteer)
• John R. Oishei Foundation’s Curtis Robbins, Knowledge Management Officer
• WIVB’s Jordan Williams (weekly volunteer)
• WKBW’s Ashley Rowe (weekly volunteer)

“Champions for Meals is always an exciting event, with a wide array of different community supporters able to participate each year,” Chris Procknal, CEO and President, said. “It’s a great chance for our advocates to show their support of the work Meals on Wheels does and for our clients to meet some local celebrities. I’m pleased to report that we have a staggering 45 VIPs this year!”











The Power of Probiotics

By Jamie Vallone, RD, CDN

Probiotics are microorganisms that reside in your digestive tract. Although harmful bacteria can make you sick, probiotics are often referred to as good bacteria as they help your gut function properly.

Although researchers aren’t positive how probiotics work, it is thought they work by controlling nerves in your GI tract that affect movement and helping to control harmful bacteria in your GI tract. Probiotics are often known for their treatment of bowel disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome; however, some research suggests that probiotics may help with oral health and the treatment of eczema and urinary tract infections.

There are many different types of probiotics. The two that are most commonly used and found in food are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Probiotics are found in both foods and dietary supplements. Some foods that contain probiotics include:
• Yogurt
• Kefir
• Miso
• Kombucha
• Apple cider vinegar
• Sauerkraut
• Pickles

Although probiotics are generally considered safe for most people, there is a higher risk of infection for linked to people with weakened immune systems, and those recovering from serious illness or injury, as well as other health conditions.

Consult your doctor before taking probiotic food or supplements to see if they are right for you.

Go Further with Food!

By Dawna Bennett, MS, RD, CDN

March is National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and embraced by community organizations throughout the nation.

The theme this year is “Go Further with Food” and encourages people to develop sound eating and physical activity habits, learn how to manage food resources at home and find ways to cut back on food waste while saving both nutrients and money. The foods you choose can make a real difference in your life!

You can make a difference in your home and in the community by:
• Planning ahead. Prepare meals in advance to enjoy throughout the week or when you are on the go. Balanced meals that can easily be reheated throughout the week are a great way to eat healthy, save time and reduce food waste.

• Shopping with purpose. Always make a grocery list, comparing what you have at home with what you need. Buy only the amount that can be used or frozen within a few days based on your meal plan and include a variety of healthful options from all food groups.

• Maximizing leftovers. Cut out leftover meats and veggies. Transform leftover meals into soups, salads or sandwiches. Use them as a topping for salads or cooked grains. Or, wrap them in a tortilla or stuff them in a pita for a delicious sandwich.

• Freezing extras. Freeze extra food, such as fruits or meats to extend shelf life using heavy freezer paper, plastic wrap, freezer bags or foil.

• Reducing waste. Before going to the grocery store, check your refrigerator. Try to eat what you already have before buying more.

• Reducing waste even more. Make it a habit to date frozen foods and use the oldest food first.

• Donating what you can’t use. Donate unspoiled, healthy food to those in need. This is the goal of many food recovery organizations, like the Food Bank of WNY, who can take unused food and redistribute it to the community’s food insecure citizens.

• Inviting healthy habits. Wash fruits and vegetables right away and leave them out on your counter so you remember to eat them before they perish. Foods in sight invite you to eat healthy first.

• Recycling. Make sure you separate items for recycling and compost food scraps instead of sending them to a landfill.
Not sure how long food should be kept for? Download the USDA’s FoodKeeper App to determine how long an item may be kept in the refrigerator, freezer or pantry. Knowing this information helps you identify what needs to be used soon and plan your meals efficiently and safely.

Help the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reach their goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030. It requires some thought and planning but it’s an excellent choice for you, your family and the community. Together, we can all “Go Further with Food.”