UPMC Cooks Up Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors Living Alone

By: Madison Brunner

Hundreds of home-bound seniors across Pittsburgh recently received a tasty surprise delivery to their doorstep, just in time for the holidays. Earlier this week, UPMC employees, University of Pittsburgh students and many volunteers prepared and delivered more than 200 Thanksgiving meals to older adults who will spend the holidays alone.

The effort, coordinated by Giving it Forward Together (GIFT) Pittsburgh and funded by the UPMC Center for Engagement & Inclusion, donated “Thanksgiving to GO” meal kits filled with delicious holiday food and thoughtful gifts.

Volunteers added a personal touch by personally delivering the meals and spending time with the seniors. More than 50 older adults in the UPMC Living-at-Home Program/Staying-At-Home Program received these special deliveries, making their holiday much brighter.

“Delivering these meals was truly a humbling experience,” said Missy Sovak, director of UPMC Living-at-Home Program/Staying-At-Home Program. “Each client had a personal history, and to receive the gift of a homemade meal meant a great deal to them.”

“Thanksgiving to GO” was started by GIFT Pittsburgh so seniors who are no longer able to spend the holidays with family can still eat a Thanksgiving meal and feel a sense of joy and blessing. This program reinforces the UPMC Living-at-Home Program/Staying-At-Home Program’s efforts to care for older adults.

Each senior appreciated the dinner and everything the program does, and it brought the volunteers joy to give back to those who need it most.

“I was speechless when I got back to the car each time, reflecting on how much this program truly means to each individual client,” said Sovak.