On Wednesday, Summit Police Chief Robert Weck, assisted the local Meals on Wheels (MOW) program at SAGE Eldercare in Summit by delivering meals to area seniors.
Weck said he was very pleased to be part of the program. SAGE Eldercare has invited local officials, police and fire chiefs, as well as other administrators to spend an hour and a half of their time to deliver meals during the month of March. The SAGE Eldercare MOW program delivers meals to persons living Union, Morris and Essex Counties.
The initiative gives local officials a sense of homebound seniors who are often “hidden” from the community. SAGE volunteers are often the only people checking in on these individuals. The support of local governments and officials is vital to the success of a local MOW program that provides an opportunity for seniors to receive nutritious meals regularly.
Wednesday’s MOW delivery started at 10:45 in the morning. Weck teamed up with another volunteer, Joanne Butler of New Providence to deliver meals, including hot and savory beef stew. Sixteen volunteers and 4 groups delivered meals on Wednesday.
John Hoffman of Chatham is a regular Meals on Wheels volunteer. He said that delivering meals was “terrific” and found the volunteer work to be “very satisfying.” Another volunteer, Kitty Hartman of New Providence, has been a volunteer for MOW since 2000.
“I love it," she said. "I love helping people who need help.” Both Hoffman and Hartman are SAGE Eldercare board members.
SAGE’s Meals On Wheels, established in 1966, is the oldest MOW program in New Jersey. In 2012, approximately 600 volunteers delivered 36,125 meals to 247 people. Each weekday, 20-30 volunteers were assigned 14 routes and drove a total of about 200 miles to deliver about 150 meals to 120 clients.
“March For Meals” is an annual campaign designed to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action at the local level. Senior Nutrition Programs across the United States promote “March For Meals” in their communities through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment efforts and fundraising initiatives.
Other Summit officials will continue to deliver meals to local seniors as part of the national “March for Meals” annual campaign. On Monday, March 18, Summit Councilman Tom Getzendanner is scheduled to help and May9r Ellen Dickson is scheduled to help on Mayors' Day, Wednesday, March 20.