The Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) created the March For Meals campaign in 2002 to raise awareness about senior hunger. We Are Meals On Wheels, so no senior goes hungry™ is the rallying cry of the campaign and MOWAA. March For Meals unites Meals On Wheels programs in a collective effort to improve the visibility of senior hunger. Since 2002, there has been tremendous growth in the number of participating Meals On Wheels programs in the annual March For Meals campaign.
This year, 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 a “March for Meals” event whereby seniors from each of the county’s six senior centers collect items to fill a reusable grocery bag. Each bag will contain 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. At the end of the month, the gift bags will be 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. She and fellow site managers organized their respective sites to collect the items and assemble the gift bags for delivery. Walker Funeral Homes also helped with a monetary donation for the project.