This guest post is from Paul Bridgewater, president and CEO, Detroit Area Agency on Aging
As we celebrate this holiday with family, friends and a nice meal, elders in our community are left behind, as they struggle to take care of themselves.
In 1988, I started the Holiday Meals on Wheels (HMOW) program with the Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) to feed homebound and disabled adults a hot nutritious meal on Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. While our Detroit Meals on Wheels program is state and federally funded, HMOW is not. I am happy to say that for 28 years, we have been able to provide holiday meals with support from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
For the seventh year in a row, the DTE Energy Foundation has joined DAAA to provide thousands of meals to the homebound and disabled adults living in Detroit, Hamtramck, Harper Woods, Highland Park and the five Grosse Pointes. DTE’s generous donation and dedicated employees make it possible to purchase, pack and deliver the meals.
Partnering with DTE Care Force is significant to DAAA. Together we are helping those in our service area avoid hunger, loneliness, and isolation. There are more than 10 million seniors in America struggling with hunger, 15.2 million living in isolation and 18.4 million living in or near poverty. This problem will only become more serious as the senior population is projected to double by 2050. DTE recognizes that many of these seniors live in Michigan and could be our neighbor. It is important for individuals and organizations to create healthier communities and spread holiday joy to those who need it the most because Hunger Takes No Holiday.