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Program delivers more than food Nohely Mendoza | Sat, Apr 09 2011 12:00 PM

Meals-on-Wheels has been around for 51 years with one main purpose in mind: to serve San Diego seniors.

The program assists seniors over 60 years old by delivering lunches and dinners specific to their nutritional needs.

They serve as many as seven meals or as little as three meals a week for $7 a day for both lunch and dinner.

"We take great care in balancing the meals by not overburdening calories, sodium or fat," said Luanne Hiankle, director of development of Meals-on-Wheels. "We serve sodium meals, diabetic meals and even easier to chew meals with softer foods."

Not only do the volunteers in the program deliver meals to seniors but they also deliver birthday packages and holiday gift baskets when appropriate. as well as performing safety checks to make sure everything is running smoothly.

"We give the seniors the medical care they need and we see them when they have health issues, it goes well beyond the meal," Hiankle said.

Meals-on-Wheels is always looking for volunteers and interns who are interested in nutritional value and helping seniors. Anyone 18 years and older is welcome to apply.

"We have an internship program called Meals-on-Wheels University where interns can get experience in an environment where someone is not ill. We deliver to people that are independent and well," said Hiankle.

Interns have options available to them.

"The interns would work closely with our head nutritionist, Linda Copp."

Meals-on-Wheels is hosting its annual gala "Beach Ball" at 5:30 p.m on July 16 at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel and Marina, there will be silent and live auctions, as well as music and entertainment.

For more information on donating, becoming a volunteer, ordering meals online, or attending this years annual gala visit www.meals-on-wheels.org.

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