2015 Senior Advocate Award Recipient
The Senior Meals Program in Grandville, Mich., is this year's Senior Advocate Award winner. Brewster Hamm, CEO and president, accepted the award on behalf of his organization. Established in 1984, the Senior Meals Program operates with the mission that all seniors deserve access to healthy, nutritious food. The program also works to keep Kent County seniors connected to a massive support network.
Senior Meals on Wheels prepares and provides more than 750,000 meals a year for older adults in Kent County. They serve three senior food pantries and more than 25,000 meals at dining centers each quarter. For older homebound adults, they prepare nutritional, hearty meals from scratch at their headquarters and deliver them to seniors' homes. The meals are chilled to preserve quality and nutrients.
In 1998, using funds from the Kent County Senior Millage, the Senior Pantry program was born. The pantry is open to Kent County residents 60 years or older who meet income guidelines.
Senior Meals partners with Michigan State University to provide vouchers for eligible seniors. They can use them for fresh fruits and vegetables at their local farmers market.
They coordinate the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program and annual food drives. They also partner with Grand Valley State University’s nursing program. Nursing students from the university provide emotional support to elderly program members. The students use their nursing skills to help these adults remain healthy and independent in their homes.