Meals on Wheels provider needs blast chillers to continue preparing meals for the elderly

Senior Connections, a local non-profit organization providing home and community-based services to seniors in metro Atlanta and middle Georgia, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to purchase two blast chillers for its corporate headquarters. The industrial-grade equipment is used to process and store meals created in its kitchens as part of the organization’s Meals on Wheels program, which prepares and delivers 15,000 meals per week throughout Metro Atlanta to individuals, senior centers, adult day cares and senior residential living facilities.

“Our meal delivery service keeps healthy thousands of seniors across Atlanta,” said Debra Furtado, CEO of Senior Connections. “Many of these seniors are living alone and unable to go to the grocery store or prepare their own meals. Our deliveries ensure they have at least one filling and nutritious meal each day but they have to be delivered frozen so they can be stored and heated later. Without a blast chiller, we cannot ensure the food can be safely prepared, stored and delivered – and unfortunately both of our 20-year-old blast chillers have reached their end of life and can no longer be economically or reliably repaired.”

Senior Connections prepares individual fresh meals in its kitchens each day, but meals are delivered frozen to clients a week’s worth at a time. In order to move food from serving- to storing-temperatures quickly and safely, the individual servings are placed on racks and then rolled into blast chillers, where they are blast-frozen in a process which pushes cold air at a high velocity across the packages. The meals are quickly frozen to temperatures below 40˚ so as to protect from microbiological dangers such as bacterial multiplication and environmental contamination. The equipment used in this process is expensive; the walk-in models installed in Senior Connections’ kitchens cost around $25,000 each and both current models need to be replaced.

The units need to be replaced quickly, and Senior Connections has launched a GoFundMe campaign to quickly raise the funds to purchase and install two new blast chillers. Those wishing to help support the program can donate through the GoFundMe site, through Senior Connections website or by mailing checks to Senior Connections at 5238 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, Georgia 30341. (Please note freezer in the memo field.)  Call Senior Connections directly at 770.455.7602 with questions or to make a donation via phone.

About Senior Connections

Since 1973 Senior Connections has provided programs and services designed to help seniors “age in place” in the comfort of their own homes. More than 15,000 nutritious meals are prepared weekly out of Senior Connections’ main kitchen, and meals are distributed throughout metro Atlanta and middle Georgia. In addition to providing this large number of meals, the nonprofit agency provides home repair, in-home care and neighborhood centers to area seniors. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, services are available to anyone over the age of 62, regardless of income level. More information is available at seniorconnectionsatl.org. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Caption for above photo: (Left to right) Matt Holmes, City of Tucker communications director, and Frank Auman, mayor of Tucker, tour the kitchen facilities of Senior Connections including one of the blast coolers.
Credit: L.A. Dison / Shiny, Inc.