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County, city officials lend hand to Meals on Wheels
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March for Meals will have officials in Warren County volunteering to deliver meals to older adults and adults with disabilities on March 21.
“When I heard about it, I called immediately and accepted,” said Warren County Executive John Pelham. “I can hardly wait. I’m excited to be involved in Meals on Wheels. It’s a wonderful program that’s served this community for years.”
Also participating in the delivery of meals will be Morrison Mayor Sue Anderson.
“Martha (Pepper, director Warren County Meals on Wheels) called me and asked me if I would care to come that day,” said Anderson. “I said yes. I volunteer to deliver meals Mondays and Thursdays at least once a month.”
Anderson says she has been volunteering to deliver meals for so long that she has grown attached to the individuals she meets on her route.
“I enjoy meeting the people, being with them and feeling like I can help just a little bit. I feel a connection to the people we deliver meals to. I’ve had a couple pass away and I couldn’t stop crying. It was like losing a close friend.”
Mayor Norman Rone suffered an injury recently, which may prevent him from lending a helping hand.
“If I’m able, I will do it,” he said. “I had a foot injury. If I’m able to walk by March 21, I definitely want to do it. I guess we will have to wait and see.”
Viola Mayor Kevin Lawrence and Centertown Mayor J.W. Underhill will be unable to attend due to commitments made prior to notification.
March for Meals is a national campaign held during the month of March, initiated and sponsored by the Meals on Wheels Association of America, to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of local communities.
“We send out between 155 to 160 meals a day,” said Pepper. “We start preparing the meal at 6:30 in the morning. It takes us until 1 p.m., sometimes 2 p.m., to clean up.”
In between cooking and cleaning, volunteers arrive to take the meals to individuals on 11 different routes throughout Warren County. Pepper says volunteers are extremely important.
“We couldn’t do this without volunteers,” said Pepper. “There’s just no way we could get it done. We have about 100 volunteers that come once a month or more. I just can’t think them enough.”
The local program feeds people 60 years of age and older who live alone and are physically, financially or mentally disabled. Under the direction of Martha Pepper, the program uses volunteers to deliver meals throughout the county.
Senior Nutrition Programs across the United States, like the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Association Nutrition Program, promote March for Meals through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives.
“In this tough economy, the food and human contact we provide to seniors in the community is needed more than ever,” said Linda Tramel, director of Field Services/ Nutrition Program. “We need the community to come out and support our March for Meals events. Our clients are counting on us. We can’t let them down.”
Warren County Meals on Wheels office, located at 106 East End Drive, is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 473-3514.