Founded in 1894, Bethlehem Centers of Nashville (BCN) promotes self-reliance and positive life choices for children, youth and older adults in Middle Tennessee. Funding provided by The West End Home Foundation enables the agency to deliver services to older adults in North Nashville designed to reduce hardships associated with poverty, health challenges and social isolation.
The BCN meals on Wheels network, known as the Greater Charlotte Hot Lunch Cooperative, is a consortium of thirteen North Nashville churches. The program provides a nutritious daily meal, Monday through Friday, as well as emergency and shelf-stable meals for weekends and holidays. Meals are delivered by volunteers who provide an opportunity for social interaction to clients, and for many, this is their only human contact on a regular basis. The Meals on Wheels program serves 216 clients and provides 54,000 meals each year.
WEHF also supports BCN’s Active Seniors Club which provides enrichment activities such as health and wellness programs, educational workshops, arts and crafts, and monthly grocery shopping trips. This program serves a core group of 36 North Nashville residents age 55 and older. Clients in both programs have access to the Center’s public benefits counseling that connects them to other available benefits and needed community resources.
BCN partners with Vanderbilt School of Nursing to conduct health and depression screenings for clients in both programs to measure impact. 82% of Meals on Wheels recipients maintained or showed improvement on their health indicator scores after receiving home delivered meals for at least six months and 78% showed improvements on the Geriatric Depression Scale. 86% of the Active Seniors Club participants showed improvement on health indicator and depression scores after being enrolled in the program for 6 months. For more information about Bethlehem Centers, please visit their website at www.Bethlehemcenters.org.