What a great way to start the fall season!

Meals on Wheels Western Michigan (MOWWM) was joined by an abundance of friends at the “More than a Meal” luncheon on October 12th. Together, we enjoyed a meal prepared by Meals on Wheels’ kitchen crew, while learning about the countless differences that MOWWM is making in the lives of West Michigan seniors.

If you were unable to join us, don’t worry! We are happy to recap this gathering.

With more than 150 people in attendance, the audience experienced a “power hour” full of MOWWM facts and outcomes. We heard from Brewster Hamm, President and CEO, who passionately shared with the audience that the need is growing! The Baby Boomer demographic is aging at a rapid rate; according to the Pew Research Center roughly 10,000 people are turning 65 years old every day. This means that the number of seniors eligible for MOWWM will DOUBLE in the next 20 years. MOWWM must be proactive in order to combat this growing need, in ways such as creating a Legacy Society – allowing those who wish to remember Meals on Wheels in their will or trust (etc.).

Guests also heard from an informative panel. Among them was a Client Assessor, Kristie, a Driver, Ken, and a Meals on Wheels Client, Charles. As an Assessor, Kristie meets with Meals on Wheels clients every 6 months to assess their meals and other needs. She shows them the ins and outs of the program, such as how to select their meal choices and who to call if they won’t be home that day. Often times, Kristie identifies other needs – anything from holes in floors to broken thermostats to missing appliances – like a microwave, which is often used to heat our meals.

Ken, a Driver, also works directly with the clients. He has been faithfully driving for Meals on Wheels for more than 5 years now! He shared with the audience how meaningful the work is to him, in addition to the senior. Ken has been a life saver on more than one occasion. At the luncheon, he told the audience of the time he went to visit a woman who did not answer. He explained how this woman always answered. They had a special knock. He’d knocked one way, and she would respond on the other side of the door with her own knock. That Monday morning, though, he knocked, and she didn’t answer. Ken went to his car to call her, and there was no answer. So, he did as he was trained and called an In-Home Services Specialist at MOWWM’s main office. The In-Home Services Specialist then followed up with the woman’s emergency contact; her son. He rushed to his mother’s house to find her on the floor, where she had fallen late Saturday evening. By the following Monday, she was home healthy and safe ready for Ken’s delivery.

Charles also joined us on the panel, representing a Meals on Wheels client. With humor and grace, he told his story to the audience. As a Vietnam War Veteran, Charles has been through a lot in his lifetime. He has mobility constraints that makes cooking difficult, and he cannot get out to the store as much as he used to. Charles told the audience some of his favorite Meals on Wheels meals, like the chicken tenders and Salisbury steak. Charles loves the food he receives and has been receiving it for almost a dozen years!

With the help of our guests, we raised $28,708!! Thank you to everyone who supports seniors remaining healthy and independent in their own homes. We could not do our work without you!

*If you would like to provide healthy nourishment to Kent and Allegan counties’ seniors, you may do so here.

Photography was donated by Veera G. To view photos from the event, please click here.