WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Williams Senior Center is the hub for most of the senior population in Williams.
The center serves more than 4,000 meals each year to homebound seniors and more than 6,000 congregate meals, where seniors can meet and socialize with their peers.
During the month of March, Coconino County Community Services participates in the annual March for Meals. This month-long, community celebration of Meal on Wheels helps raise awareness about the vulnerable seniors who rely on the vital service.
The celebration includes various activities throughout the month, including the annual March for Meals breakfast, which takes place in Williams March 29.
March is the major fundraising month for the Meals on Wheels program in Williams, according to Williams Senior Center program coordinator Dolores Paredes.
“I go out with the seniors all during that month and ask for donations,” she said. “A lot of people donate during that time and then come in for the breakfast and sit around and talk.”
Paredes said the program takes in close to $10,000 each March, which keeps the program running. She said the program serves 22 people out in the community and serves another 25 who come into the senior center each day.
“We give them a hot meal at noon and they can talk to people their own age,” Paredes said. “Its not just a hot nutritious meal, its being able to get out and come in and talk to people their own age. Not just sit on the couch.”
The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day in March of 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. Since 2002, community-based Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the seniors served and those still in need.
Since 2002, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the seniors served and those still in need.
“The month of March is a fitting time to not only celebrate the successful history of Meals on Wheels, but also bring us together to support a solution that will strengthen communities into the future,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “With 12,000 Americans turning 60 each day, now is the time to invest in these vital programs so that we can provide every senior in need with the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that will enable them to live healthier and independent in their own homes.”
The public is invited to donate or attend the breakfast March 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Williams Senior Center at 850 W. Grand Ave. in Williams.
More information can be found by contacting Paredes at (928) 220-5625.