Mecosta County to March for Meals

BIG RAPIDS — What would it be like to be served lunch by Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, R-Clare; or other local officials?

Mecosta County residents can find out during the March for Meals campaign.

Mecosta County’s Commission on Aging is in its ninth year of fundraising with the campaign this month. Throughout the month of March the commission hopes to collect $10,000 to put directly toward food costs for homebound seniors in the Meals on Wheels program.

The commission kicked off the month-long event last weekend with a murder mystery dinner and collected $2,000 toward their donation goal. Events continue March 18 to March 22 with a week-long celebrity serving event at the senior center.

“For five days we have local celebrities and elected officials serve and deliver meals to our seniors,” said Shawn Sredersas, director of the meals program. “This is not only a way for them to give back to the community, but to also help get people excited about the upcoming events.”

This year in addition to Warba and Stabenow; Mecosta County Clerk Marcee Purcell, Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell, State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, and State Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, will visit the senior center to serve meals.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the seniors to get to speak to me as their state representative and bring up any legislative issues that they may have,” Potvin said.

The public is invited to join the celebrities for lunch at the senior center throughout the week, located at 12954 80th Ave. in Mecosta.

Each meal for a homebound senior costs the COA $6.22 for the raw food, gas to deliver and labor costs to prepare the meal. The COA does not require seniors to pay for the each meal, but does ask for donations.

“We ask for a small donation of $2 from the seniors, but sometimes that is too much. With this month- long event we can raise a lot toward their meals,” Sredersas said.

March for Meals is not only to raise money, but a national event to raise awareness of senior hunger and get community members involved.

“We wouldn’t be able to operate without the help of our volunteers. We have 65 dedicated volunteers who serve and deliver meals Monday through Friday,” said Sredersas. “Throughout the month, we hope to spur interest and have more community members get involved.”

Since 2004, the COA has participated in the March for Meals event. In 2012, they earned the golden award from the Meals on Wheels Association of America for their efforts. Sredersas said she hopes for the same success this year.

“Residents of Mecosta County are always so generous and giving. Together we can make this month successful,” she said.

For more information or to get involved contact Sredersas at (231) 972-2884.

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