Local mayors take part in Mayors for Meals event

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published March 19, 2015

 Harper Woods Mayor Ken Poynter delivers a meal to Harper Woods resident Denise Dengel.

Harper Woods Mayor Ken Poynter delivers a meal to Harper Woods resident Denise Dengel.

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods Mayor Ken Poynter and other local mayors dedicate their time to a special event each year that shines a light on hunger among senior citizens.

Poynter, Grosse Pointe Mayor Dale Scrace, Grosse Pointe Farms Mayor James Farquhar, Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke, Grosse Pointe Shores Mayor Ted Kedzierski, Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Pro-Tem Greg Theokas and Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen took part in the “Mayors for Meals” event March 18. Services for Older Citizens sponsored the event.

“The basic purpose of it is to, basically, address senior hunger and to make the community aware of the importance of the Meals on Wheels program,” Poynter said.

The mayors and county commissioner delivered meals to seniors in their communities.

SOC takes part in the Meals on Wheels program, as well as the national “March for Meals” campaign every year, which the Meals on Wheels Association of America sponsors.

“Through Services for Older Citizens’ meal program, homebound seniors receive a hot meal each day,” SOC Director of Volunteer Services Heidi Uhlig said in an email. “In 2013-2014, over 12,000 meals were delivered. Those who receive meals may be shut in due to illness or a memory impairment that prevents them from purchasing or preparing meals.”

While SOC delivers meals all year, it uses the “March for Meals” initiative to host public events, raise funds, recruit volunteers and more. 

According to the March for Meals website, there are approximately 1 in 6 senior citizens in the United States who may not know how they will get their next meal. That totals more than 9 million seniors.

The barriers sometimes are financial, but other times there are issues with getting to a grocery store or being able to prepare a meal. 

Each year, the mayors of the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods come together to take part in the program.

“Since 2005, the mayors in all five of the Grosse Pointe communities and Harper Woods, as well as other local officials, have participated in bringing awareness to the community by delivering meals on Mayors for Meals day,” Uhlig said.