Enriching Lives As We Age

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Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. (PVI) Statement on “Skinny Budget” Blueprint

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Dear Friends of PVI,

Recently, the initial details of the President’s 2018 budget blueprint have emerged and have started an important conversation on social media platforms as well as both large and small media outlets across the country. Because of the essential work and impact that our Meals on Wheels program provides here in San Mateo County, any threatened budget cuts must be looked at carefully and responded to promptly.As CEO of Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., I am working with our team here as well as officials in San Mateo County to respond to any budget cuts that may be proposed. It is important to remember that as of right now, these budget cuts are just being proposed. We are in the beginning stages of the process and there is still a long way to go. In this non-stop news cycle and social media reality we live in, it’s our responsibility not only to stand up for these services, but also to speak about what we know, not what may be projected in the media. I’ve summarized what we know so far in the bullet points below.

What: On March 16, the President sent his Budget Blueprint, also known as the “America First Budget” or “Skinny Budget” to Congress, with a plan to release further details in the coming months. The blueprint proposed cuts to discretionary spending in order to pay for increased defense spending starting in October. The Department of Health and Human Services could receive a budget cut across the board, as well as face the reduction or elimination of specific programs. Both sets of cuts could impact Meals on Wheels and Rosener House. The Blueprint does not yet say which HHS programs will be cut, so we do not know how our programs will be affected.

Who is Impacted? Every day, PVI’s Meals on Wheels program provides over 500 meals to seniors throughout San Mateo County, delivered by volunteers and PVI staff. This comes out to over 2,500 meals a week, served to over 850 needy seniors. For many of these seniors, Meals on Wheels is their only source of food.Client Benefits: Our Meals on Wheels program offers more than just fresh, hot nutritious meals. The program is also the most reliable way for our clients to fight the isolation of growing older alone – 40% of the seniors we serve live alone. Our program also provides our clients with quarterly health and nutrition assessments, referrals to needed community services, and dietary counseling. Our delivery personnel provide wellness checks and weekend meals also available.

Budget Details: The “Skinny Budget” proposes the elimination of the $3 Billion Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program, one of the sources of funding for Meals on Wheels pro- grams around the country. In our case, CBDG gives us $22,500 of funding annually, about 1.5% of our MOW program and grant revenue. More importantly for us, detailed plans for a key source of our program’s funding, the Older Americans Act (OAA), have not yet been released. The OAA provides 35% of the total funding for Meals on Wheels nationally. For our MOW program, the percentage is about 45% of program and grant revenue. OAA funds also provide about 9% of the program and grant revenue for our Rosener House senior day care services. With a proposed 17.9% cut to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services budget , which funds the OAA, PVI would need to secure an additional $161,000 in community support on top of the generous donations we already recieve.

The Need is Growing: Aside from any proposed changes to Federal funding, the need for our services is exponentially growing. This past January, we expanded our service territory to North San Mateo County so that we are now the sole MOW provider for almost all of the county. Our program is critical. According to the Healthy Community Collaborative of San Mateo County, many seniors face hunger every day: 1 in 8 seniors must choose between paying rent, buying medication, or purchasing food.

A Bipartisan History of Supporting Seniors: Ironically, the month of March honors the signing and enhancement of the Older Americans Act by President Richard Nixon on March 22, 1972. Meals on Wheels programs around the country celebrate this historic, bi-partisan bill through the annual March For Meals campaign, which we are marking with our own commemorative event on March 22. We await more details on the proposed Federal budget, and we are ready to advocate for home-bound seniors here in San Mateo County and across the country.

Together, we must do everything that we can to spread the news about these budget cut proposals. We at Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. are glad that we have a commitment from our Congressional representatives to funding the OAA. We also have donors committed to keeping our program going. It will not be easy, but we are all in this together.

What Can You Do to Support:

Donate:   http://www.penvol.org/donate/
Volunteer: http://www.penvol.org/volunteer/
Call your elected representatives: http://mealsonwheelsamerica.org/findyourofficials
Advocate: Please share this message with friends and family


Peter Olson
CEO Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.

PVI Meals on Wheels joins Meals on Wheels America and Subaru in Sharing the Love this Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Subaru Share the Love Event® helps deliver nutritious meals and compassion to

San Mateo County’s seniors

Menlo Park, CA  December 5, 2016 – PVI Meals on Wheels is proud to announce that it will be participating in the annual Subaru Share the Love Event as a member of Meals on Wheels America – one of four national Share the Love charitable partners for the ninth year running. From November 17, 2016 to January 3, 2017, Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased to the customer’s choice of participating charity.

By purchasing or leasing a new Subaru during the Event and selecting Meals on Wheels America as your charity of choice, you can help deliver nutritious meals and other important services to seniors right here in San Mateo County.

“In fiscal year 2016 Subaru Share the Love Event supported the delivery of over 75,000 home delivered meals to older adults who cannot shop or cook for themselves,” said Marilyn Baker-Venturini, Director PVI Nutrition Services.

Participating Meals on Wheels America members, like PVI Meals on Wheels, will receive a share of the revenue raised by Subaru in their state. PVI Meals on Wheels has partnered with Putnam Subaru in Burlingame to raise awareness for the popular year-end sales and giving event.

“It is a true testament to the value of Meals on Wheels and the strength of our nationwide network that Subaru of America and its customers choose to give back to this vital service year after year,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “Since its inception, Share the Love has helped deliver more than 1.4 million meals to seniors served by Meals on Wheels. It is our hope that this year’s event ensures that even more seniors receive the nourishment they need to continue living independently at home.”

This year, for the first time throughout the life of the program, there will be no cap on the total donation from Subaru of America to its Share the Love charitable partners. By the end of this year’s event, Subaru hopes to exceed a grand total of $90 million donated since the creation of Share the Love.

“We at Subaru are thrilled to support our national and hometown charity partners for the ninth consecutive year,” said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Subaru of America Inc. “Through the Share the Love platform we are proud to continue our commitment to the causes our customers care about most and look forward to exceeding a grand total of $90 million donated through this initiative.”

For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/sharethelove.

About PVI

For almost 70 years, PVI has created and provided high quality and nurturing programs for the aging on the Peninsula.  PVI provides programs, support and guidance for seniors in the community to allow them to pursue long and useful lives.  As life expectancy lengthens, communities need to embrace both opportunities and challenges to help aging adults maintain their dignity, independence, and sense of usefulness.  PVI provides innovative services including senior affordable housing, Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center.  www.penvol.org

About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.

Fabulous Shopping Experience Returns at Peninsula Volunteers Baubles, Bangles and Bags

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Event is Fundraiser for Menlo Park Non-Profit Dedicated to Providing Quality Senior Services

MENLO PARK, CA – Sept. 19, 2016 – - The eighth annual Baubles Bangles and Bags arrives at the Menlo Circus Club on Monday, November 7, 2016.  Peninsula Volunteers’ signature silent auction is always a shopping paradise with vintage, designer and specialty handbags and baubles, as well as themed gift baskets, mystery boxes, and four special Christmas trees.   There will be some very special handbags available for purchase, including a Judith Leiber Carousel bag donated by Mrs. Diane B. Wilsey of San Francisco, and a very unique Hermes Vibrato Kelly bag.   Other in-demand labels include Yves St. Laurent, Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, and Stella McCartney.

The day consists of silent auction, champagne and specialty cheeses, seated luncheon and special speakers, including:

Christopher Tattanelli is a member of a four generation Italian family business, Il Fiorentino, that produces high end leather goods for five leading international brands,.  Christopher will enthrall attendees with insider information on how to identify a well made handbag and what “Made in Italy” truly means.

Ashley McCumber, Executive Director and CEO of Meals on Wheels of San Francisco and Chair of the Board of Meals on Wheels America, will be a special guest and will share information about the trends in senior hunger.

Chaired by Mrs. Gidu Shroff of Atherton, the event co-chairs include: Mrs. Gary Carville of Los Altos, Mrs. John Grillos of Sonoma, Mrs. John Jerrehian of Los Altos Hills, Mrs. Bob Sturm of Rocklin, and Mrs. Jim Woodson of Atherton.

Tickets are $175 and are available by calling Cathy Duhring at 650-272-5001.

About PVI – For almost 70 years, PVI has provided high quality and nurturing programs for the aging on the Peninsula. PVI provides programs, support and guidance for seniors in the community to allow them to pursue long and useful lives.  As life expectance lengthens, communities need to embrace both opportunities and challenges to help aging adults maintain their dignity, independence and sense of usefulness. PVI provides innovative services including affordable senior housing, Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services and Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center.

www.penvol.org # # #

Peter Olson Appointed CEO for Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Peninsula Volunteers Inc. (PVI), a non-profit organization serving older adults on the mid-Peninsula, is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Olson as its new Chief Executive Officer.  Serving as PVI’s Director of Little House, The Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, since 2010, Peter is ideally suited to provide leadership for PVI as it enters into its next chapter of expanding services and evolving to meet the needs of today’s seniors.

As CEO Peter will oversee Peninsula Volunteers‘ four major programs:
1) Meals on Wheels providing over 78,000 hot, nutritious meals yearly to home-bound older adults in San Mateo County;  2) Rosener House , Adult Day Services providing a therapeutic activity program for over 150 clients and respite care for 400+ family caregivers; 3) Little House, The Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, providing an extensive array of services centered on health, wellness, and social interaction to over 3,500 community members annually; 4) Senior Housing in Menlo Park currently providing 82% of the affordable housing for community seniors;.

“I am excited to lead Peninsula Volunteers into its eighth decade,” said Peter Olson, CEO of PVI.  “Since opening its doors in 1947, PVI has been providing quality, innovative services and housing for the aging adults in Menlo Park and beyond, and it thrills me to carry this legacy forward.”

“We are delighted that Peter Olson has agreed to accept the role of CEO and lead Peninsula Volunteers in addressing the ever evolving needs of our growing senior population,” said Susan Sweeney, outgoing Board Chair of PVI.  “His excellent nonprofit leadership skills, his enthusiasm and ability to work effectively with a wide variety of individuals and organizations, and his vision and breadth of understanding of our senior community and the opportunities ahead for PVI make Peter the perfect leader in moving the organization forward in its expanding community role.”

In addition to his experiences at PVI, Peter has over 25 years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, specifically older adults, individuals with special needs, and children. Peter’s professional experience includes the Director, Public Affairs and Communications for Easter Seals Bay Area and the Health and Wellness Director at the Easter Seals Timpany Center in San Jose. A graduate of San Jose State University, Peter enjoys the active outdoor lifestyle of the San Francisco Peninsula, spending time fishing, backpacking, cycling and is dedicated to spending time with his daughter.

Started by a group of forward thinking community leaders in 1947, PVI is a pioneer in providing high quality programs for Peninsula seniors, enabling them to maintain their dignity, independence, and sense of usefulness.  During the last year the PVI board and staff have been working with community leaders to align the services of Little House more closely to the needs of a changing senior population.


About Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.
Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. is a pioneer serving older adults. Through its programs – Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and the Little House, Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, – more than $5 million in services are delivered each year to 4,500 households, including 150,000 hot meals to seniors and the homebound.  Peninsula Volunteers Properties (PVP) provides 82% of the affordable senior housing in Menlo Park.

Meals on Wheels Reduces Loneliness in Seniors

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

A Report from Newsmax Health – Social isolation is common among many U.S. seniors, particularly during the holidays. But, home-delivered meals can significantly reduce their feelings of loneliness, new research finds. The study involved more than 600 people in eight U.S. cities who were on waiting lists for Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers food to homebound seniors. They were randomly selected to have daily fresh meal delivery to their home, weekly frozen meal delivery or to remain on the waiting list.

At the start of the study, seniors in all three groups had similar levels of loneliness. After 15 weeks, loneliness levels remained the same among those on the waiting list, but had fallen among those who received fresh or frozen meal deliveries at home. Also, seniors with daily meal delivery were three times more likely than weekly recipients to indicate that home-delivered meal service helped them feel less lonely, the researchers reported.

“This continues to build the body of evidence that home-delivered meals provide more than nutrition and food security,” said lead author Kali Thomas, assistant professor (research) of health services, policy and practice at Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, R.I. She hopes the findings will assist policymakers as they make decisions about programs that provide services to the elderly in their homes. “In a time when resources are being further constrained and demand is increasing, it is important that we have evidence that guides decision-making in terms of what services to provide and how best to provide them,” Thomas said in a university news release.

Many of the study participants were socially isolated. More than half lived alone, 14% said they had no one to call on for help, 20% said they were in touch with family and friends less than once or twice a month, and only 25% said they took part in group activities. “The number of people who reported they had no one to call on for help is a cause for concern,” Thomas said.

Raymond’s Health & Well Being, Supported by Meals on Wheels

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

“Some are more unfortunate than I am. I am so grateful for the Meals on Wheels program.” These are the words spoken by Raymond, an 85-year old Redwood City man and current client with PVI’s Meals on Wheels program.

Raymond was born in 1930 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1971, he moved to Redwood City to take care of his aging father until he passed away in 1982. He worked as a computer programmer for a military defense company in Belmont, and after his father’s death, he became an avid traveler, visiting friends in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. His work and traveling came to an abrupt end in 1985, when Raymond suffered a heart attack on the job. His condition required
surgery, and from there, Raymond’s health continued to decline.

Over the years, he suffered from numerous effects of the procedure resulting in the insertion of a pacemaker and an additional surgery to replace a portion of his heart. Raymond steadily lost weight—close to 30 pounds. He could not prepare food for himself and became dependent on canned foods. His doctor became concerned that Raymond was suffering from malnutrition.

Additionally, the doctor realized that Raymond lived alone and didn’t drive, so she referred him to PVI’s Meals on Wheels program. Raymond has been a Meals on Wheels client for a little over a year. In that time, his diet has improved, he is no longer malnourished, and he says that he “hasn’t touched one of those cans.” Raymond smiled and shared that the Meals on Wheels program “doesn’t just deliver a hot, nutritious meal.” Rather, the volunteer drivers spend time chatting with him, engaging in conversation, which is often the only contact he has with anyone during the day. “Meals on Wheels saved my life…and now that I feel healthier, I enjoy my days much more!”

Sam’s Story

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Sam is a World War II veteran who worked as a barber on the Peninsula for over 40 years. He is incredibly social, enjoying music, storytelling, and dancing—all with friends—well into retirement. In 2008, Sam was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He continued to live by himself until 2009 when he fell and hurt his shoulder. With the help of his family, Sam moved into a residential care facility because he required 24-hour assistance.

While his basic needs were being met at the residential facility, Sam’s disease progressed and his memory continued to deteriorate. His daughter worried that his overall quality of life was suffering without the social engagement and intellectual activities he so enjoyed. That’s when the Veterans Administration referred Sam to Peninsula Volunteers and the Rosener House Adult Day Services program.

Seven years later, Sam has thrived at Rosener House. Still suffering from limited mobility in his shoulder from his fall, Sam received physical and occupational therapy at Rosener House; where he once needed help standing up from a chair, today Sam is able to get up and walk around on his own.

Over time, as his strength increased, Sam began to participate in more of the Rosener House social activities. His favorites are singing, dancing, and the Music and Memory program. His personalized playlist includes Elvis and The Beatles. He has made friends at Rosener House, and enjoys having a full social calendar again.

Over the years, Sam’s strength and mobility have improved because of his supportive care at Rosener House, but his age and diagnosis continue to run their course. His daughter is most grateful for PVI services, as she credits Rosener House staff and playful activities with slowing the progression of his disease. Had Sam not been a Rosener House participant for the past seven years, his condition would likely have declined more rapidly and he would have needed to move to a skilled nursing facility.

Thanks to Rosener House, Sam has the opportunity to make the most of each and every day.

My father is provided with the physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation at Rosener House, not provided at his  residential facility. I work a hectic schedule, but knowing he is receiving such great care allows me to focus on my job, and to know that my dad is active and well taken care of during the day. — Sam’s Daughter

…and the award goes to

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Mila Leonardo and Shanah Hawk, activity leaders for Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., Rosener House, are the 2015 recipients of the Roos-Kates Care Awards. Each year the awards are given to two Rosener House staff for their outstanding work and care of participants with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.  Top left, Mila is congratulated by Gene Kates and on the right Shana receives flowers from Deborah Streiber.   Bottom photo: Standing are Rosener House Director Barbara Kalt, Shanah Hawk, Mila Leonardo and Karae Lisle, CEO of Peninsula Volunteers. Sitting are Gene Kates, John Kates and Deborah Streiber.

The award was originally conceived and endowed by Patricia Roos Kates, who recognized that people with Alzheimer’s disease were often misunderstood. She decided that rewarding and encouraging the special efforts of health care professionals of people with Alzheimer’s was a remedy.

Mila and Shana received the awards at very special ceremony on February 24, 2015, at Rosener House.

Rosener House certified as a Music & Memory Provider

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Music & Memory is an innovative program that lifts the spirits of the older adults by bring personalized music to them through digital technology, vastly improving their quality of life. Rosener House in Menlo Park is the first adult day program on the San Francisco Peninsula to be certified as a Music & Memory provider.

Thank You For Your Support!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

A thousand thanks to our 297 donors who contributed $27,488 to the Alzheimer’s Association and Rosener House for the September 20th Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Donations accepted through Dec. 31st. Click here to learn more about how you can be a part of our great cause!