On a cold day, elected officials in northern Chautauqua County volunteered to deliver meals to the elderly who can no longer cook for themselves because of physical or mental limitations.
On Wednesday, March 20, Dunkirk-Fredonia Meal on Wheels once again participated in the national "March for Meals," celebrated across the United States and Canada. Last year over 1,530 elected officials took part in this event.
Mayors A.J. Dolce of Dunkirk and Steven Keefe of Fredonia. and incoming mayor Nicodemo Piccolo of Silver Creek delivered meals to the elderly along with supervisors Todd Johnson from Town of Hanover, Louis Delmonte from Sheridan and Daniel Schrantz of Portland.
Pictured, left to right: Todd Johnson, supervisor for the Town of Hanover; Louis Delmonte, supervisor for the Town of Sheridan; A.J. Dolce, mayor of Dunkirk; Stephen Keefe, mayor of Fredonia; Daniel Schrantz, supervisor for the Town of Portland
The purpose of the "March" is to raise awareness of senior nutrition programs, to recruit new volunteers and increase local funding to support the local operation.
At this time, local support of the home meal delivery program is even more critical as cuts in the federal government's budget will eliminate meal delivery to 40 of Chautauqua County's frailest seniors. This service has allowed many in Chautauqua County to remain independently at home which is far cheaper than nursing home placement.
Meals on Wheels is currently delivering to over 170 people in Dunkirk, Fredonia, Silver Creek, Irving, Forestville, Brocton and Portland. In 2012, 75,376 meals were delivered in these areas. Meals continue to be prepared at Brooks Memorial Hospital under the guidance of a registered dietician.
Senior nutrition programs across the United States, like Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels, promoted the March for Meals through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives.
This year, restaurants in Dunkirk, Fredonia, Silver Creek, Forestville and Brocton were willing to participate in the March by asking their customers if they would be willing to donate one dollar to support the home meal delivery program. The agency appreciates the involvement of these businesses who have provided support to the senior nutrition program.
Meals on Wheels would like to thank the mayors and supervisors in northern Chautauqua County for taking time out of their busy schedules to support the "March for Meals," highlighting the senior nutrition program.
For referral information, volunteerism or financial support of this special event, call the Meals on Wheels office at 366-8822.