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'It's very rewarding.' Meals on Wheels marks 50 years service in metro Detroit

Posted at 11:47 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 23:47:52-04

(WXYZ) — Meals on Wheels is marking an impressive milestone this year, as the organization celebrates 50 years of service. The agency tells us more than half of the participants they help live alone and are also 75 or older.

For delivery volunteer Robert Kuelbs, the work is about giving back and helping seniors get healthy meals and feel loved.

"I made a vow that when I retired, this is what I’m going to do.” Kuelbs said.

Each week, he spends two days at the Costick Community Center in Farmington Hills. The retired school teacher says helping seniors has been a calling.

"I get a lot out of it. It’s very rewarding and I enjoy doing it.” Another member of the initiative, Teresa Bryant, said. She's a nutrition coordinator.

“It's heartwarming, especially coming off of the last two years with COVID of isolation. The seniors, the drivers are the only person they see throughout the course of the day.” says Bryant.

She oversees 200 meals a day, a group of 95 drivers and 29 meal packers.

She adds, “Today was a 4-cheese lasagna. We vary the menu, every day is different. We try to include a fish meal during the week.”

Across six counties, the Area Agency on Aging 1B serves 2 million meals to 11,000 clients a year. Their drivers also check into the well-being of seniors.

“The help provided by MOW and nutrition is critical. But, it really provides more, helping them to stay living at home. Staying connected and safe.” says Chief Strategy Officer Jenny Jarvis.

Also, the program says 76% of participants say they eat healthier because of this program, and 89% say it’s allowed them to continue to live independently.

To volunteer or request assistance, please call 1(800) 852-7795 or visit: www.aaa1b.org