Westlake Meals on Wheels has a new ride thanks to Subaru

Meals on Wheels board members Ellen Cowher, left, and Sharon Kanareff, right, with Executive Director Wendi Schwartz, accept Ganley Westside Subaru’s Stuff the Trunk donation of non-perishable food.

Subaru of America presented a wrapped and food-laden 2018 Outback to Westlake Meals on Wheels Nov. 16 at Ganley Westside Subaru. The Westlake organization is one of only 50 programs in the country to receive a vehicle, donated in celebration of Subaru’s 50th anniversary, and in keeping with its commitment to support local communities nationwide in partnership with Meals on Wheels America.

“Ganley Westside Subaru, where the Outback was delivered, generously donated cereal, peanut butter, soup and other shelf-stable foods to jump-start our new Stuff the Trunk effort to provide our clients and other area seniors with emergency preparedness kits – non-perishable food, blankets, flashlights and batteries – for days the local weather prevents meal deliveries,” said Wendi Schwartz, executive director of Westlake Meals on Wheels. “To build on Ganley’s donation, Westlake Meals on Wheels will hold a public Stuff the Trunk event, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at North Olmsted Community Park.”

“We are grateful for this amazing gift that will help us better reach our existing clients," Schwartz said. "The car is coming at a perfect time to help us expand to serve more homebound clients in the rural parts of our service territory of Olmsted Falls, Olmsted Township, North Olmsted and Westlake.

“As more baby boomers age and want to live independently, we are adding a second kitchen in 2018 to meet the need,” she added. “This Outback will be a safe vehicle for any weather condition as we start delivery to new recipients and reach out to potential partners and clients. We also will use it to shop for and transport food between the kitchens.”

On average each month, Westlake Meals on Wheels volunteers drive 2,262 miles to deliver meals, and the donated 2018 Subaru Outback will enable WMOW staff and volunteers to reach at least 45 more seniors and serve over 1,000 additional meals each month. The program already serves around 75 individuals each month, delivering a home-cooked hot meal and a bagged lunch each weekday.

This fall, Subaru donated 50 new 2018 Subaru Outback vehicles to select Meals on Wheels programs throughout the county, to be used in the delivery of an estimated 53,000 meals to an additional 3,700 seniors across 39 states.

“We wanted to celebrate our 50th anniversary in America in a way that is appropriate for our brand and are delighted to donate vehicles that will support local communities by combatting threats of isolation and hunger affecting seniors across the country,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. “At Subaru, we believe in providing safe and reliable vehicles for all of life’s journeys and are honored to partner with Meals on Wheels to help people live more nourished lives.”

Sharon Kanareff

Sharon Kanareff graduated from Westlake High School and returned to her hometown earlier this year.  She currently works in the kitchen, bakes and serves on the board of Westlake Meals on Wheels.  She has worked in community, public and government relations for much of her career.

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Volume 9, Issue 22, Posted 9:50 AM, 11.21.2017