The following are the Meals on Wheels delivery drivers being highlighted this month:
March 10: Eddie Upshaw
March 15: Jim Harris
March 16: Chickamauga Police Chief Ronald Roach
March 18: Lynne Reeves and Iris Petersmarck
March 22 and 24: Travis Strawbridge
March 23: Fanci Moore
Other ‘champions’ are Micheal Haney and Lacey Wilson
Chickamauga Active Living Center recently kicked off its second annual March for Meals Campaign. The goal is to raise $5,000 by the end of the month to help sustain the program throughout the rest of the year.
Forty home-bound clients in Chickamauga receive Meals on Wheels, a volunteer delivery service which brings nutritious meals to senior citizens and performs well-checks. Thirty-one of those depend on the hot meal they receive five days a week, according to Chickamauga Active Living Center site manager Pam Rinehart.
"Last year, more than $2,000 was raised [through the March fundraiser] for the Chickamauga Meals on Wheels program," she said. "This money helped fund 500 of the more than 9,400 meals delivered to local seniors in need last year. And this year we hope to raise even more so we can better support the seniors in our community."
According to Rinehart, the goal of Meals on Wheels is to prevent the premature institutionalization of the elderly through better nutrition, education and social contact.
"Everyone that volunteers and delivers meals are called Champions," Rinehart said, adding she has about 12 volunteers. "'Champions' help deliver Meals on Wheels to a couple houses each. Each Monday through the whole month of March we will do a senior spotlight. We have some in their 90s that live at home by themselves. We will give two gift baskets of snacks to each home-bound Meals on Wheels client the second week of March and the fourth week of March."
On March 14, the center is hosting a party for the Kaleidoscope special needs adults who help deliver Meals on Wheels twice a week. They will receive T-shirts, balloons and prizes to honor them and thank them for their help with the meal deliveries over the past year.
On March 18, the center will celebrate one of the service's recipients. That's the day Jerrel Hudgins will turn 100 years old, and the center is hosting a party for her.
"We've had Meals on Wheels here 15 to 20 years," said Rinehart. "On March 31 we will have a health fair here from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. talking about hospice and Meals on Wheels."
On March 17, the center invites local seniors to a St. Patrick's Day Celebration featuring a "Let's Make a Deal" game.