The employees of EMC Insurance Companies have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the elderly residents of their county. In partnership with Generations Incorporated, a non-profit health and human service agency, EMC Insurance employees are part of the "Meals on Heels" program, an unofficial title bestowed upon the operation by its volunteers. These hard workers help to make sure that their homebound elderly and disabled clients get meals delivered on weekdays to their subsidized housing complex.
The “Meals on Heels” program was originally started by Generations Incorporated in 1967. Since then, the operation has grown considerably with more and more volunteers donating their time to the cause. It is a particularly beneficial endeavor in Iowa because the state ranks first in the nation in the number of residents that are 85 years and older, increasing the demand for meal delivery through the Meals on Wheels program. The foot soldiers from EMC Insurance Companies' have answered the call to service.
In January of 1994, EMC Insurance Companies began its corporate volunteer partnership with Generations Incorporated. "Meals on Heels" was created, based upon the Meals on Wheels concept, except volunteers deliver meals on foot. Volunteers for the program help deliver meals five days a week all year long. The 85 plus volunteers from EMC Insurance Companies, including the CEO, have already donated over 14,000 volunteer hours and served over 17,000 meals. Most take time from their lunch hour to help deliver the meals.
An added bonus for "Meals on Heels" participants is the on-going relationship the volunteers and residents develop. This enhances the well-being of the clients and provides an opportunity for a daily check on the residents' health and safety. Program evaluations have shown improvement in the nutritional health of "Meals on Heels" customers and enhanced feelings of independence and safety. The EMC volunteers find the work both rewarding and worthwhile. The few minutes that they take away from their lunch means so much to the "Meals on Heels" recipients. The contributions of EMC Insurance Companies to "Meals on Heels" and their commitment to volunteering every day is an example other businesses can follow.