The gift of nourishment from VFW post

Meals on Wheels volunteer Christina Jeans, of Oxford, loads bags of food donated by North Oakland VFW Post 334 in preparation for delivering them to senior citizens on Dec. 19. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
Meals on Wheels volunteer Christina Jeans, of Oxford, loads bags of food donated by North Oakland VFW Post 334 in preparation for delivering them to senior citizens on Dec. 19. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.

Thanks to the efforts of a veterans group, Oxford senior citizens who have meals delivered to their doorsteps received a little something extra for Christmas.

North Oakland Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 334 donated 38 insulated bags filled with food to the local Meals on Wheels program. They were delivered on Dec. 19 to feed 42 people.

“We want to make sure we let our seniors know that we appreciate them and we care about them,” said Orion Township resident Kathy Hubbard, president of Post 334’s auxiliary group. “They may be up there in age, but they’re not forgotten.”

“A lot of seniors are veterans, so I just want to make sure they have an extra meal in the cupboard,” said Post 334 Commander Jim Hubbard, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and Kathy’s husband. “Having an extra meal can be a savior. It’s a good thing to have that little bit of security.”

“Most of the people only get one meal per day, so this is an excellent supplement,” said Mary Reynolds, hostess of Oxford’s Meals on Wheels site.

Each bag contained 39 food items, the majority of which were nonperishable.

“There’s a canned ham, scalloped potatoes, vegetables, fresh fruit, tuna fish, crackers, little snacks – everybody needs a snack every once in a while,” Kathy said.

Orion Assisted Living donated all of the insulated food bags, which can be reused by their senior recipients.

Approximately $600 was spent on groceries.

“The post purchases all of the food and the auxiliary assists with shopping and packing,” Kathy said.

Kathy’s willingness to clip coupons, her sharp eye for spotting deals and her talent for stretching a dollar helped Post 334 purchase more food for less money.

“We probably saved close to $100 by (using) coupons,” she said. “I’m an economical shopper. I find out what’s on sale (and) where. I might spend a few more dollars in gas to go somewhere, but if I’m buying (in) quantity, that’s OK. We want the biggest bang for our dollar.”

Reynolds called the VFW Post and Auxiliary members “wonderful people.”

“They stop and think about other people,” she said. “It’s not just about them. It’s about everyone around them.”

“The need is there. I just want to make sure it’s covered,” Jim said.

Reynolds encourages more seniors to sign up for Meals on Wheels.

Eligibility for the program is not based on income. Recipients must be at least 60 years old and unable to grocery shop and/or prepare meals for themselves. A short-term meal option is available for seniors who are recuperating or undergoing rehabilitation.

A truck from the Rochester-based Older Persons Commission facility delivers food to Oxford United Methodist Church Monday through Friday. From there, Reynolds distributes the meals to volunteer drivers who deliver them to seniors’ homes.

The program provides seniors with one nutritious meal per day. A second meal is available upon request. Meals on Wheels also provides frozen food to be eaten over the weekend.

To sign up for Meals on Wheels deliveries, make a donation to the program or volunteer as a driver, please call (248) 236-9260.