Runestad secures funding for Meals on Wheels to grow effort that provides 1,500 meals to seniors each day

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad on Thursday announced that a grant funded by the 2022 state budget will be used to support seniors who rely on the Western Oakland Meals on Wheels program.

“I am very happy to report this funding has been secured for this important program that makes a big difference in the lives of seniors each and every day,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “This money will allow the Meals on Wheels program to move into its very own facility and grow in its capacity to feed vulnerable members of our senior community.”

Livingston County Senior Nutrition Program and Western Oakland Meals on Wheels are funded through the Area Agency on Aging 1B and serves 1,500 meals a day to seniors in need from both counties. It has been working out of a high school cafeteria and renting storage space at multiple locations.

Starting at 3:30 a.m., program staff members, along with a roster of 450 volunteers, have had to prepare meals in multiple batches and stage packaging of meals on tables set up throughout the school’s hallways in order to get these meals ready to deliver, as well as clean up prior to the start of the school day.

The enhancement grant, that was included as part of the state’s 2022 general budget, will allow the Livingston County Senior Nutrition Program and Western Oakland Meals on Wheels to purchase a shared facility.

“Frankly, this program had grown too big to continue operating in its rented high school space and its future ability to serve was in jeopardy,” Runestad said. “This funding will mean that it will now have its own kitchen space to prepare food in one batch and have a dedicated administration space that includes accounting and storage for food products and packaging materials. This funding will mean this important program can grow and continue serving seniors in need in both counties, without adding these vulnerable members of our community to long waiting lists.”

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