Ottawa County “Home Delivered Meal Program” honored

Ottawa County Senior Resources announces that the Meals On Wheels Association of America has nationally recognized their March For Meals campaign. Ottawa County Home Delivered Meals Program received the Silver Award for $650 for their efforts to engage county seniors and a local business in the fight to end senior hunger. March For Meals is an annual campaign to raise awareness and generate community support around the importance of a nutritious meal and social connection to keeping homebound and hungry seniors more healthy and independent in their own homes. This year, the Meals On Wheels Association singled out 199 programs’ campaigns for their success.

“We applaud all of our programs that leveraged this campaign to spotlight the issue of senior hunger in their communities,” commented Meals On Wheels Association President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “In these tough times, when so many of our Meals on Wheels programs are facing the loss of federal funds, community support and engagement is vital to ensuring that no senior goes hungry.”

Ottawa County Senior Center Site Managers decided to encourage increased awareness of the needs of our home delivered meal recipients of Ottawa County by organizing a gift bag fundraiser. The fundraiser project was based on an idea from Danbury Senior Center site manager, Paula Shenkel. Site managers Tammy Reichert, Mary Jane Happel-Meadows, Candace Pucci along with Ms. Shenkel planned the event whereby seniors from each of the county’s six senior centers collected items to fill a reusable grocery bag. Each bag contained items such as paper towels; hand soap, toothpaste, facial tissues and other basic necessities that home bound seniors are often unable to get without assistance.

The gift bags were delivered to each of the nearly 200 home delivered meal clients along with their daily hot meal. Ms. Shenkel suggested the idea to encourage members of the senior centers to help their fellow seniors by giving them practical items that they can really use. Walker Funeral Homes also helped with a monetary donation for the project. The money received from the grant will be used to pay for the reusable grocery bags used in the project.

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