Becker County Senior Council on Aging gives Meals on Wheels $700 donation for gas cards
As part of an effort to give back to those who provide daily meals for seniors, the local Council on Aging donated $700 for gas cards to Nutritional Services Inc., coordinators for the Detroit Lakes Meals on Wheels program.
DETROIT LAKES — Meals on Wheels drivers in Detroit Lakes received a $700 donation for gas cards from the Becker County Senior Council on Aging after the group approved the donation at its Feb. 24 meeting.
The donation was made to Nutritional Services Inc. as a way for the Senior Council on Aging to give back to the drivers who provide many local seniors with daily meal deliveries. The donation is to be split into 28 gift cards for the drivers, said Lisa Stroschein, Becker County's MAHUBE-OTWA senior coordinator.
"Especially with gas prices, these volunteers are helping our seniors...so it's truly full-circle," said Stroschein.
The group had been fundraising for furniture and other items for the Engage Senior Center, in the basement of the Historic Holmes Theatre, but the senior center received plenty of donations and didn't need the additional funds at this time, which made the Meals on Wheels program the next logical recipient for the senior group's donation, she said, since the Meals on Wheels program is run out of the same space.
"The council suggested at our last meeting, 'Let's do something with this, how can we give back?'" said Stroschein. "(The Senior Council on Aging) keeps (the seniors) active, it keeps them engaged and really a lot of the time we're just sitting there chatting and having just as much fun, even though it's a meeting and it is important, it's a social aspect, too."
The Senior Council on Aging meets about eight times per year and provides their minutes and agendas to the Becker County Board of Commissioners. Stroschein said some of the seniors are appointed to the council by their local county commissioner to represent their district, but the rest come to the meetings just to be part of the group and talk about issues facing local seniors.
Stroschein added that each senior brings information from different parts of the county, their various living situations, or news about other groups they may be involved with, and they talk about any possible issues affecting their membership.
"It's just a place for seniors to come, have that interaction, be heard, and if there are things we can do to change anything, that's where we step in and run with it," she said.
For more information, or to join the Becker County Senior Council on Aging, contact Lisa Stroschein at 218-847-1385 or firstname.lastname@example.org . The next meeting of the senior council will be April 21 at 1:30 p.m., at MAHUBE-OTWA in Detroit Lakes.
DeAnn Heintzelman, dining manager for Nutritional Services Inc., said she plans on giving the drivers their gas cards during an April 27 appreciation banquet for the program's volunteers.
"We love helping the community out and making our seniors feel safe at home so they don't have to go out-and-about," said Heintzelman. "It gives (the seniors) a feeling of getting company every day to visit them, and also, if they're not feeling well enough, then they have the food coming to them, instead."
She said the Detroit Lakes Meals on Wheels program currently has a roster of about 25 drivers, but is always looking for more names to add to the list as a driver or substitute. Her staff of one cook and one or two helpers prepares about 150 meals per day, including frozen meals that are delivered and can be reheated at a later date.
"They can use it for weekend meals, or we have rural routes that we only go out to once per week; then they can get up to six frozen meals," she said.
Heintzelman added that if anyone wants to become a Meals on Wheels driver, they can contact her at 218-847-5823.
April is National Volunteer Month, which is a month "dedicated to recognizing the importance of volunteering and honoring the significant contributions volunteers make by generously donating their time and talents to worthy causes," according to the Reward Volunteers website .