Meals on Wheels delivers holiday cheer and food

By Stacie Smith • Last Updated 11:42 am on Monday, November 26, 2012

The holidays typically evoke memories of large family gatherings around the table. Sometimes these gatherings involved traveling to different parts of the state or even having to work through congested airports to see grandparents and enjoy grandmother’s world famous pumpkin pie. For some, health issues and the cost of travel means holidays spent at home.

Area seniors and those who are medically homebound have a friend in Tammy McCracken and the local Meals on Wheels chapter through the Montcalm County Commission on Aging. McCracken is the nutrition coordinator and oversees the volunteer program that delivers meals as well as provides meals at six congregate sites throughout Montcalm County. Those sites include Stanton, Edmore, Greenville, Howard City, Vestaburg and Carson City.

The Commission on Aging receives its meals from Grand Rapids Senior Meals and a majority of the volunteer work involves unpacking then repackaging the meals for distribution.

“If (volunteers) are able to work in the kitchen, the day starts at 6:30 a.m.,” McCracken said. “The ultimate goal is to make sure each driver has everything they need. Sometimes it is hurried for a good hour and a half or so, and then the volunteers will clean and do preparation the next day.”

In addition to providing everyday meals for area seniors and those who are homebound, Meals on Wheels will also see that its clients have a hot meal during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

The Commission on Aging will provide a Christmas lunch, starting at noon, Dec. 18. The special menu will include pear and walnut salad, Christmas stuffing, Artesian macaroni and cheese (penny pasta) roasted turkey and, for dessert, caramel cheesecake. The meal will be prepared by McCracken and Stanton site host and chef Trevor Wright.

Friendship House in both Carson City and Greenville will provide lunch Dec. 21, which will include ham, sweet potatoes, asparagus, pineapple, holiday dessert (to be announced) and dinner rolls. Reservation contact information and location for these facilities are:

• Greenville: Christy Maule, (616) 255-3183, 308 Oak St.
• Carson City: Pat Evoy, (989) 506-3869, 217 W. Sherman St. (Bloomer Township Hall)

Those thinking of attending are encouraged to call for reservations as available space is limited.

The Commission on Aging will provide meals for Christmas and New Year’s for its homebound clients on Dec. 20 and Dec. 27.

For additional information about Meals on Wheels, contact the Montcalm County Commission on Aging at (989) 831-7476.

The Meals on Wheels program is currently seeking volunteers. The application process is to be a volunteer is similar to a driver’s license process, with driving and background checks.

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