OAKLAND, CA – Many seniors throughout the East Bay face the daily threat of hunger without the nutritional support from programs like Meals on Wheels. The United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County (USOAC) a non-profit, community organizing and advocacy organization will bring seniors together for the 14th Annual Healthy Living Festival. Hosted at the Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, HLF is largest free health resource fair for seniors in the county featuring education resource booths, activities promoting healthy living and successful aging and opportunities to engage in ongoing advocacy initiatives.
“The festival is a chance for older adults to have fun and stay physically active,’’ said USOAC President and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. “It’s also an opportunity for them to get involved in civic learning about crucial services needed for our senior community.”
The focus of this year's event will be on protecting funding for Meals on Wheels, a program providing hot meals to low income older adults as well other critical programs including senior affordable housing. Encouraging local grassroots advocacy on issues that affect older adults is a key part of the festival. Over 65,000 older Alameda County residents rely on services and supports including Meals on Wheels that are funded by the federal Older Americans Act, according to Alameda County Social Services Agency.
“Congress has a poor track record when it comes to championing the needs of older Americans, so we are deeply concerned about the future of aging services,’’ Lois Snell USOAC board member. However, the impact remains unclear of proposed federal budget cuts to Meals on Wheels and other nutritional programs.
The festival is a venue for seniors to participate in a letter writing campaign to send urgent messages to member of Congress advocating for more health and supportive services. Organizers say Meals on Wheels is not only vital to the health and well-being of at-risk seniors, but it is essential to the health and vibrancy of our nation.
A healthy fun-filled event, more than 2,000 seniors from Oakland from all over Alameda County are expected to attend and participate in festival activities including health screenings, medication take back, Tai Chi, Zumba and free entrance into the zoo. The Oakland Zoo's new gondola ride is the largest urban gondola system in Northern California. Seniors will be able to ride for free on the gondola featuring 16 cars holding eight people and rises above the Oakland hills with views of the entire Bay Area.
For more information about the Healthy Living Festival and USOAC, visit http://www.usoac.org
Kamika Dunlap, (510) 381-9017 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org