March for Meals to raise awareness for senior meals program

Volunteers help prepare meals to be delivered to homebound seniors in Mecosta County. In an effort to raise awareness for the need for the Meals on Wheels program, the Mecosta County Commission on Aging and Activity Center will celebrate March for Meals Week from Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22. (Courtesy photo)

MECOSTA — While many people may think the issue of hunger and a lack of access to adequate food is one which exists only in far away places, this problem hits much closer to home.

In Mecosta County, hundreds of homebound seniors would face the daunting concern of going hungry if not for the Meals on Wheels program.

According to Shawn Sredersas, meals coordinator for the Mecosta County Commission on Aging and Activity Center (COA), in 2018, meals were delivered to 284 different clients through this program.

“Not only are we fighting hunger with Meals on Wheels, but we also fight the depression and isolation the seniors face,” Sredersas said, noting many of the senior clients have no one around who can help them.

She explained Meals on Wheels is a national program which offers an opportunity for money through grants to allow Mecosta County to provide meals to seniors locally. Sredersas added approximately 50 percent of the funding for the meal program comes from grants, while the remaining 50 comes from area support and clients giving back to the program.

To help raise awareness of the need for Meals on Wheels, the Mecosta County COA will celebrate March for Meals Week from Monday, March, 18, through Friday, March 22.

“March for Meals is an opportunity for the community to join forces and recognize there is a need here,” Sredersas said.

Each day of the week will include different themes and participation from “local celebrities.”

Special guests who will be helping to serve or deliver meals to seniors during the week include Big Rapids Mayor Thomas Hogenson, Mecosta County Clerk Marcee Purcell, Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell and Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy, among others.

Additional events going on throughout the week include volunteer day; sponsor a senior day; a bake sale, with proceeds going toward purchasing food for the program; and an evening dinner from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

Sredersas said last year just shy of 49,000 meals were delivered to area seniors over 89,000 miles, all made possible with the help of approximately 50 volunteers.

For more information or to participate in the meals program, call the COA at (231) 972-2884.

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Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the cops and courts reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

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