Attending Plate Expectations 2018? Here’s what you need to know!

We are looking forward to seeing you at Plate Expectations “The Supper Bowl XV” at the ADPRO Sports Training Center next to New Era Field (One Bills Drive, Orchard Park, NY 14127)! Below are a few reminders for the event:

Parking & Location

Please enter off 20A or Abbott Road. Parking will be available in Lot 1 and the Field House lot both of which are near the event space.

The event is located at the ADPRO Sports Training Center – 1 Bills Dr, Orchard Park, NY 14127.

Dress code

We recommend casual and comfortable clothes (shorts and short sleeve shirts). The event will take place on the AstroTurf, and guests will have an opportunity to try to kick a field goal or pass to a “receiver”, so please wear appropriate footwear.

Payment Options

Please remember to bring cash, checks, or a credit card, as we have many exciting auctions, raffles, and games of chance to participate in.

Latest Updates

For last minute updates, check here or visit our Facebook or Twitter page for the latest information.

Contact us

Thank you for supporting Meals on Wheels!

If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Hibit at or 822-2201 ext. 4.

Protein: Where is it found and how much should I eat?

By Nicole Goben MS, RD, CDN

Protein is a staple of a healthy diet. People of all ages require protein but it is especially important for older adults to eat enough protein to maintain strong healthy bodies and prevent muscle loss.

Why is protein important?
Protein is needed to maintain muscle mass, fight infection and help the body recover from events such as surgery or injury.

How often should I have it?
It is best to consume a source of protein with every meal and snack in order to meet daily needs. The body can only use about 30 grams of protein at a time so if you typically eat all of your protein at one meal it may not all be used, so be sure to spread it throughout the day.

How much protein should I have?
An older adult may benefit from increased protein to prevent muscle loss. A Registered Dietitian can help you figure out exactly how much protein you need. In general, getting 20-30 grams of protein with each meal is a good goal.

How do I boost my protein intake?
Simple changes to your diet will help increase protein intake. Add peanut butter or cheese to crackers, switch out regular yogurt for Greek yogurt, which has more protein. Cook with milk instead of water, such as in oatmeal. Use the chart to find foods you enjoy that are high in protein!

Protein Content of Common Foods
Average grams of protein Serving Size Food group
21 – 24 g 3 oz. Beef, chicken or fish, cooked. (3 oz. is about the size of a deck of cards)
20 g 3 oz. Tuna fish, packed in water
12 – 13 g 5.3 oz. container Greek yogurt
13 g 1/2 cup Cottage cheese
9 g 1/2 cup Dried beans, peas, lentils
6 – 9 g 6 oz. Yogurt
8 g 1 cup Reduced-fat milk
8 g 2 tablespoons Peanut butter
7 g 1 oz. Cheese, aged (cheddar, jack, swiss)
7 g 1/2 cup Canned beans: kidney, black, garbanzo
6 g 1 large Egg, whole
6 g 1 oz. Nuts: peanuts, pistachios, almonds

Our Registered Dietitians are an award-winning team!

Meals on Wheels for WNY is a great place to work – full of hard working, talented professionals. We regularly say that we have the best team around.

That’s why we were thrilled – but not surprised – that nearly our entire Nutrition team recently received a series of very impressive awards at both the local and state level.

The following Registered Dietitians (RDs) have been honored recently:
Jennifer Carland, RD, CDN, has been recognized as the Young Dietitian of the Year for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NYSAND) as well as the Young Dietitian of the Year for the Western New York Dietetics Association (WNYDA). Jen was also recently named one of the “30 under 30” by Buffalo’s Business First.
Nicole Goben, MS, RD, CDN, received the Media Excellence Award from WNYDA.
Jamie Vallone, RD, CDN, received the Early Contributions / New Professional Award from WNYDA.

If you know any of these wonderful professionals, please be sure to congratulate them when you talk to them! And if you want to be a part of the wonderful Meals on Wheels for WNY team please check out our employment and volunteer opportunities

Tips and Tricks to Finding the “Ripe” Produce

Jennifer Carland, RD, CDN

Have you ever bit into a peach only to find that it wasn’t as soft and juicy as you hoped it to be? Or perhaps you experienced a “chalky taste” when you crunched on some corn on the cob? While summer offers us an abundant array of seasonable fruits and vegetables, they are best when you can identify whether or not they are ripe and ready to enjoy.

• Should be heavier in weight
• Smells sweet, but not too sweet (overripe)
• Should be able to gently push into the stem end

Corn on the Cob
• Husk should be green in color; if not, it may be dried out
• Kernels should appear to be “plump”

• May vary in both red and yellow colors; the red coloring signifies that it was the side facing the sun during growth
• If there is green around the stem, it is not ripe yet
• The fruit should “give a little” when you gently touch it

• Color should be golden-brown
• There should not be too much green at the bottom of the fruit
• Smell is important; it should smell sweet
• If you don’t smell anything, it is not ripe yet
• If it gives off a vinegar-like smell, it is overripe

• Smell is the best indicator of ripeness for a strawberry; it should smell the way you would like it to taste
• If you do not smell anything, it is not ripe yet
• Color is not always the best indicator for ripeness of strawberries

• The tomato should be able to “give a little” when you touch it
• If it feels too hard, it is not ripe
• If it feels too soft when you touch, it is overripe

• Should feel heavier in weight
• If you tap on the watermelon, it should sound hollow
• Look for a yellow spot on the bottom
• If stripes go all the way around the fruit, it is not ripe yet

Be sure to use this as a guide when grocery shopping or at your local farmer’s market. Find farmer’s markets close to your neighborhood.

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

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.