During March, Senior Services will be celebrating National Nutrition month with its inaugural “March for Meals” celebration, offering special fitness and nutrition challenges, events to learn more about how to volunteer as a Meals on Wheels driver and a chance for you to help support the meals provided. Local celebrities and other prominent figures will be enlisted to deliver meals during Community Champions Week, March 16-20, 2020, and speak out for older adults in Midland County and raise awareness for the power of Meals on Wheels.
The annual March for Meals commemorates the historic day in March 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and established a national nutrition program for older adults 60 years and older. Since 2002, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the older adults served and those still in need.
At Senior Services, our goal is to ensure all older adults, 60 years and up in Midland County, have access to nutrient-rich meals to meet their dietary needs. In 2019, Senior Services provided 130,759 meals to 760 older adults through our Meals on Wheels Program. Although there is not an income requirement needed to qualify for these services, approximately 23% of the individuals served are at or below the poverty level.
Home delivered meals are provided through our Meals on Wheels program to older adults who are homebound and cannot prepare food on their own. This could be related to their age, health issues, mobility issues and/or limited support from family or friends nearby. Meals on Wheels is only possible in Midland County due to the enormous amount of time that our volunteer drivers dedicate to the service. Senior Services has about 160 drivers who choose a route that takes about 2 hours, with shifts ranging from roughly 10:30 or 11 am to 12:30 or 1 pm. For many clients, the trusted Meals on Wheels volunteer who shows up daily with a hot meal and a warm smile, is the only person they see or speak with all day. Volunteers can help to ensure that older adults are safe and if something needs attention, they notify Senior Services of those individual needs.
Research shows that healthy eating increases mental acuity, resistance to illness and disease, energy levels, immune system strength, and recuperation speed. Many older adults live on a limited income and one in 12 older adults in the United States has limited or uncertain access to enough food. Senior Services does not charge for meals but offers them on a donation basis. We do not currently have a waiting list for those needing assistance with meals, including home-delivered options. If you need the programs and services that Senior Services offers, call 989-633-3700.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about volunteering for Meals on Wheels with Tina Podboy-Laughner, Volunteer & Community Outreach Manager, at each Activity & Dining Center from 11 am to 1 pm on the following dates:
Wed, March 4 • Greendale | West Midland Family Center | 4011 W. Isabella Rd., Shepherd, MI
Tues, March 10 • Trailside | 4700 Dublin Ave., Midland, MI
Wed, March 18 • Coleman | 415 E. Webster, Coleman, MI
Mon, March 23 • Sanford | 3243 N. West River Rd., Sanford, MI
Tues, March 24 • Mills | Greater Midland North Family Center | 2601 E. Shearer Rd., Midland, MI
During Community Champions Week, March 16-20, the following local “celebrities” have signed up to help deliver meals, Jenni Bush- Senior Vice President at SPACE, Inc., Jon Lynch- President of Three Rivers Corporation, Grant Murschel- Director of Planning and Community Development, City of Midland and Dr. Mark Ostahowski- Family Medicine Physician at Midland Family Physicians, P.C. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver, call Tina at 989-633-3741.
Now is your chance to help ensure older adults in Midland County have a meal each day. Please consider joining us as a sponsor of “March for Meals 2020.” Levels of sponsorship are listed in the table below:
|$10,000||3 Routes for a Month||Feeds 50-80 people!|
|$5,000||Sponsor the Month of March||Feeds 33 people!|
|$2,000||Sponsor 13 Clients||Provides 13 people 1 hot meal each day for 30 days!|
|$500||Sponsor 3 Clients||Provides 3 people 1 hot meal each day for 30 days!|
|$150||Sponsor 1 Client||Provides 1 person 1 hot meal each day for 30 days!|
Senior Services would like to thank the following generous sponsors of our inaugural March for Meals celebration: Gordon Foods, ITH Staffing, Space Inc., Carole & Henry Steffens and Three Rivers Corporation.
Contact Senior Services for more information on how to become a sponsor, volunteer or donate at 989-633-3700 or online at https://seniorservicesmidland.org/march-for-meals-2020/.