SARAH HOWARD: Senior food pantry coming Jan. 15 to Wagoner Community Center

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Hello Manistee County! Well, we did it. The senior nutrition program started Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. It has been a week of meals and I heard some really positive comments about the food and the delivery. Besides our great volunteers and drivers, Nancy and Jeanne took a day this week on the in-town route, so we could get the feel of how it works.

My goal is our Senior Center staff will know all of the routes in case someone has an emergency or is ill. I was very happy when Nancy and Jeanne said it was really fun and really nice to see some of our county seniors. A huge thank you to Keri and the gang at the Manistee Area Public Schools’ kitchen, you were awesome. Also, a huge thank you to our volunteer drivers, you did a great job with the changes and you never missed a beat.


Our next big project to help out our county seniors will be the RN medication management program. I was asked several months ago if there would be a way for Manistee County Council on Aging to do this program. I was told there are a lot of seniors going without this service because of costs and lack of available RNs. I am going to give the senior nutrition program a couple of weeks to get settled, then off to learning something new. I will keep you up on the program as I start working on it.


I wanted to share that we will be holding our Friday, Jan. 15 food bank at the Wagoner Community Center at 260 St. Mary’s Parkway. The food bank starts at 9 a.m. and lasts through 11 a.m. This will be a contact free, drive through food bank. If you have any questions, give us a call at (231) 723-6477.


We will find out soon if we can reopen the Senior Center for some programming and activities. I am very happy that we have this wonderful, huge building so we can still offer our seniors some options. I will let everyone know as soon as we hear what we can start up.

I put something in the newspaper last weekend about a clinic for the COVID vaccine, we had over 200 seniors on a list by Tuesday afternoon. So, it seems that people are interested in the vaccine, and the Wagoner Community Center is large enough that it would work for large groups. We will let you know when we get more information regarding a clinic at the Wagoner Community Center.

I don’t discuss politics ever unless it is with my family, but what occurred in Washington the other day literally made me ill. I don’t understand how Americans could do something like storm the house and put so many lives in danger. I don’t care what party you follow, but get real, life means more than proving a point, or showing people who is right or wrong. Mother Theresa said “peace begins with a smile” I wish people would not only think of themselves and start smiling at everyone they meet.

I hope you have a wonderful week, stay safe out there and remember to try something new!

FOOD BANK

The senior center food bank takes place from 9-11 a.m. on the third Friday of the month. Seniors from Manistee County who are 60 years of age and older are eligible to participate. If you are picking up for another senior, be sure you have a proxy note, along with their name, address, birthdate and household information. Monetary and non-perishable food item donations are always appreciated. Next food bank is 9-11 a.m. on Jan. 15. The food bank will be conducted as a drive through bank, at our new location, 260 St. Mary’s Parkway.

EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE

If you are a Manistee County senior and are in need of emergency food assistance, call the senior center at (231) 723-6477 and speak to a staff member. We have an emergency food pantry that we use to help prevent food insecurity in our senior population during these times.

SENIOR REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM

The MCCOA has a program designed to help seniors remain independent, by reimbursing qualifying expenses. If you are a senior from Manistee County, you could receive reimbursement for payments you have made for house cleaning, yard work, snow removal services. For current clients in the Senior Reimbursement Program, take note, all receipts must be current, no more than 30 days old. Income requirements apply. New clients must fill out a registration form. Mail all receipts to our new address, 260 St. Mary’s Parkway, Manistee MI, as the senior center is currently closed to the public. Call the Senior Center at (231) 723-6477 for more information.

SIT & GET FIT

All exercise classes have been suspended temporarily.

DEMENTIA SUPPORT GROUP

The dementia support group will meet the second Thursday of the month. There will be no December meeting. During meetings masks and social distancing protocols will be implemented. The group is a supportive, friendly gathering for caregivers, family members or anyone interested in learning more about and supporting our senior dementia community. Contact Jacki Krolczyk, (231) 883-1341 for more information.

PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP

The Parkinson’s support group meets on the third Thursday of each month. These support group meetings will be suspended until spring. Call Linda Nickelson (231) 690-5048 for more information.

SENIOR NUTRITION

MENU Jan. 11-15, 2021

• Mon: Cabbage roll w/sauce, California vegetables, lima beans, fresh fruit, whole grain dinner roll

• Tues: Sweet & sour chicken, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli, Key Largo vegetables, pineapple, sliced wheat bread

• Wed: Breaded pork, sweet potato wedges, black bean bake, sliced peaches, sliced wheat bread

• Thurs: Turkey gravy w/mashed potatoes, corn, diced pears, whole grain dinner roll

• Fri: Tuna noodle casserole, mixed vegetables, brussel sprouts, fresh fruit cup, dinner roll

UPCOMING EVENTS

All of our activities will be suspended through Jan. 18, 2021.

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