San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, right, with a Meals on Wheels recipient. (Courtesy photo)

Meals on Wheels San Diego County this month launched a campaign with the hopes of raising $25,000 to help feed more than 3,000 homebound seniors.

The campaign, dubbed “Scare Away Hunger,” asks the public to consider donating at least $7, which would feed one San Diego senior citizen for a day.

“Meals on Wheels delivers healthy food but most importantly, it is more than a meal — it is supporting the whole person in their needs,” said Debbie Case, president and CEO of the San Diego branch.

Case said the nonprofit relies on the public to help it feed the thousands of seniors every year. In fact, more than half of the charity’s annual budget, which averages to $2.8 million, relies on public donations, Case said.

Meals on Wheels works to solve a growing problem as more and more Americans age. Roughly 52 million Americans are at least 65 and older, according to the latest census numbers.

“Senior food insecurity in California is growing at an alarming rate,” Case said. “More than 40 percent of seniors being admitted into the hospital have malnutrition.”

But it’s more than just feeding mouths, Case said.

“We also fight the isolation a homebound senior faces every day,” Case said. “We are their lifeline. People think that seniors do not need as much social contact or that they need less food due to inactivity. Both are not true. The need for human interaction is critical to the well-being of a person of any age.”

All the seniors have poignant life stories to tell too. Case said Meals on Wheels has served Pearl Harbor survivors and a Holocaust survivor. She described the meetings with these seniors as “poignant” moments she’ll never forget.

Meals on Wheels is asking the public to consider donating $7 to feed one senior for a day or $217 to feed one senior for the entire month.

For more information and to support the Scare Away Hunger campaign please visit or call (619) 278-4041.