Written by Audrey Sochor
Last week the Council on Aging had special visitors stop by: community leaders came out to deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors in need and create awareness for the program.
Scott Crawford, executive director of Council on Aging, said the nutrition program is one of the nonprofit’s biggest and most crucial programs to keeping seniors in their homes.
“If a senior’s not able to prepare a meal obviously it’s hard for them to live on their own,” Crawford said. “But also a bigger part of that program is that there’s a driver, or runner, of those meals that is checking on that senior on a daily basis, and it’s not uncommon to find someone in medical distress. They know they’re going to be okay because their meal driver is checking on them that day.”
Meals are delivered every Monday through Thursday with frozen meals added on Thursday to get seniors through the weekend. About 1,000 meals a day are served countywide.
“It’s really a lifeline to them,” Crawford said. “They develop a relationship with our drivers. It becomes almost like a second family.”
Because it is such an important program, creating awareness for Meals on Wheels is essential. That’s where the local leaders come is. Crawford said having them volunteer to deliver meals is an eye-opening experience.
Port Huron Schools Superintendent Jamie Cain said it’s a great opportunity to shed light on the importance of the program for elderly who don’t have the mobility to prepare their own food or to purchase their own groceries.
“This has been really cool because you get to go out and just connect with people,” Cain added. “Sometimes these people might be lonely and not have a lot of social interaction on a day to day basis.”
One reason Council on Aging pulled in community leaders is because the senior services millage is up for renewal during the election this August. This millage helps fund crucial programs like Meals on Wheels.
Judge John Tomlinson said seniors like to be comfortable in their own home. “This kind of hands-on, practical approach to making that possible is such a huge resource,” he said. “I’m glad to be part of it today and kind of bring attention to it.”
To learn more about Meals on Wheels and the Council on Aging, visit www.thecouncilonaging.org.