Aging Matters asks for support to keep serving seniors 


COCOA – Nestled in the heart of Brevard County, the Meals on Wheels program is a crucial lifeline for seniors grappling with nutritional challenges and social isolation. Under the leadership of Tom Kammerdener, President/CEO, this program, an integral part of Aging Matters, has been delivering hot meals to homebound seniors since 1965.

Guided by Kammerdener’s vision, dedicated staff, and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that seniors in need receive nutritious meals and vital social interaction. With over 650 volunteers and a small paid staff, the program operates from a centralized kitchen, reaching seniors across the county.

“Our mission is simple yet profound: to keep seniors in their homes by providing them with the nutrition and support they need,” Kammerdener stated.

The Meals on Wheels program targets seniors aged 60 and above who are homebound and unable to cook for themselves. Through a careful screening process, individuals are assessed based on their nutritional needs and mobility. The program offers a vital lifeline for those who qualify, delivering hot meals Monday through Friday.

“We don’t discriminate based on income or status. Our focus is solely on those who need our help the most,” Kammerdener emphasized.

Aging Matters relies on private donations and community support to address the lack of funding. Both individuals and businesses are encouraged to contribute to the cause, with every dollar making a tangible difference in the lives of older adults. [Photo: AL DIA TODAY]

Despite the invaluable services rendered, sustaining the program presents ongoing challenges, with funding being a primary concern. With federal funding from the American Rescue Plan set to expire, Aging Matters faces the looming prospect of serving fewer meals, potentially leaving many seniors without the essential nutrition they desperately require.

“We’re grappling with a funding gap that jeopardizes our ability to meet the surging demand for our services,” Kammerdener explained. “Without additional community support, we risk depriving hundreds of seniors of their daily meals.”

Gregory Himes, the Program Director at the Brevard Community Kitchen, views his role as a gratifying opportunity to foster fellowship within the local community.

“By leveraging our devoted team of volunteers, hourly staff, and Brevard County’s available resources, we strive to make a meaningful impact every single day,” Himes expressed.

Inspired by CEO Tom Kammerdener’s call for genuine change, Himes applies his 35 years of experience managing dining services. Despite challenges, he and his team persevere in their pursuit of excellence. Their goal goes beyond just serving meals; they strive to guarantee that each meal is nutritious and delivered with utmost care. Their dedication to overseeing their clients and ensuring meal delivery, even in challenging circumstances, highlights their unwavering commitment to their mission.

While challenges may arise, Aging Matters confronts them with confidence, fortified by its steadfast dedication to its cause. Recognizing that its work is far from finished, the team at Aging Matters approaches each day with renewed determination to serve the community and support those in need. Their sustained efforts are made possible through the collaborative endeavors of teamwork and the unwavering support of the volunteer network.

The Catering with a Conscience program of Aging Matters is another significant initiative in funding the Meals on Wheels program. 

“We ensure that every dollar earned from catering goes directly back into feeding another senior,” Kammerdener explained. “We cater events ranging from small lunches to large gatherings with 300 or 400 attendees. While many nonprofits utilize our services, we also cater private events.” 

Pricing for catering services varies depending on the specific requirements of each event. 

“We offer customization options tailored to our clients’ preferences,” Kammerdener noted. “Clients can specify their desired theme, and we will ensure that it is seamlessly incorporated into the event.” 

Aging Matters invests all proceeds from catering events to support the organization’s mission. Kammerdener emphasized, “When clients choose our catering services, they receive quality, excellent service, and a delightful culinary experience, knowing that their contribution directly benefits seniors in need. It’s a way to give back to the community while enjoying a memorable event.”

During her marriage celebration with husband Richard Hunt, Christine Canavan Hunt, president of Grand Daughter’s Promise, expressed her gratitude for the catering service provided by Aging Matters after indulging in their cuisine at the Aging Matters Hollywood Stars event.

For Christine Canavan Hunt and her husband, Dr. Richard Hunt, it was gratifying to work with Tom Kammerdener and the catering team of Aging Matters to have the perfect food for their wedding. The picture includes Christine Canavan Hunt, Tom Kammerdener, and Dr. Richard Hun7 from left to right. [Photo: AL DIA TODAY]

“As my now husband and I arrived at the Aging Matters Hollywood Stars event, we couldn’t take our eyes off the food; not only delicious, but the presentation was quite impressive as well,” said Canavan Hunt with appreciation.

With more than a decade of serving seniors with Grand Daughters Promise, Canavan Hunt affirms that contracting the catering services of Aging Matters was gratifying for her for supporting seniors and having a brilliant wedding celebration.

“We are so grateful to have this selfless and desperately needed service in our community. We not only chose them for our wedding, but we have also accepted the invitation to represent Aging Matters of Brevard for this year’s Dancing with the Space Coast event,” she said.

Aging Matters relies on private donations and community backing to address the funding shortfall. Individuals and businesses alike are encouraged to contribute to the cause, with every dollar making a tangible difference in the lives of seniors.

“We implore the community to unite behind us and become integral to our mission,” Kammerdener emphasized. “Whether through financial contributions, volunteering, or spreading awareness, every action plays a pivotal role in ensuring that our seniors receive the care they deserve.”

Vimarie Monopoli, Director of Development at Aging Matters, underscores the profound impact of Meals on Wheels, portraying it as an indispensable lifeline for seniors.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that Meals on Wheels can be a matter of life and death,” Monopoli stressed. She cited instances where volunteers’ swift actions had rescued seniors from dire situations, emphasizing the program’s pivotal role in ensuring the safety and well-being of vulnerable elderly individuals.

“Many seniors don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said Monopoli, addressing the prevalent issue of food insecurity among seniors. “Just a dollar a day can make a significant difference. Let’s join forces as a community to ensure our seniors have access to the support they need.”

Revealing demographic shifts in Brevard County, Monopoli also shared that “With every thousand people moving to Brevard, about 600 are seniors.” This statistic underscores the growing imperative for collective action in providing essential services to seniors, including nutritional support, to preserve their overall well-being and contentment within their homes.

Apart from the Meals on Wheels program, Aging Matters offers various services to assist seniors at home. These include home modifications, transportation assistance, Seniors at Lunch, Volunteering Through RSVP, the Bone Builders Program, In-Home Care, the Caregiver Resource Center, Housing Improvements, and Catering, which serves as a means to fund the Meals on Wheels Program.

Aging Matters is at 3600 W King Street, Cocoa, FL 32926. For more information, call 321-639-8770.