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Meals on Wheels' Tenth Holiday Meal not canceled, but going curbside Thursday

The DTE Energy Foundation awarded a $23,000 grant to support AgeWell Services’ Holiday Meal which will be distributed curbside Dec. 17.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — The DTE Energy Foundation awarded a $23,000 grant to Senior Resources to support AgeWell Services’ annual Holiday Meal on Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Due to COVID-19, this year’s Holiday Meal will be frozen and distributed for individuals to take home.

Over 3,000 meals will be served to adults 60 and over in Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa Counties. Meals will be delivered to home-bound aging adults through the Meals on Wheels program and will be offered for pickup at 12 distributions sites on the lakeshore from Shelby south to Jenison. 

AgeWell's annual Holiday Meal usually take place at the Tanglewood Park Cafe. But indoor gatherings are not permitted.

 "Usually it's robust, with choirs and instruments playing and Santa Claus," said Kris Collee, Executive Director AgeWell Services. "We've had to pivot the model to be a curbside meal to-go."

AgeWell staff have been preparing, sealing, and freezing 3,400 meals for the last several weeks. Collee says the extra effort is needed due to the fact that food insecurity is high in the counties AgeWell serves.

"Food insecurity is at an all time high and we're especially seeing that among seniors," she said. "But more than anything else, we're way more than a meal — we're a social connection."

Included with the to-go meals will be cards and socks. 

"We're really happy to provide a little spirit to the individuals this time of year," said Collee.

Individuals 60 and over in Muskegon, Oceana, or Ottawa counties who would like one of the holiday meals can find the distribution site closest to their home by calling 211. 

The largest to-go curbside style distribution of the Holiday Meals will take place at Tanglewood Park, where roughly 500 people will receive a frozen Holiday Meal. They will also be greeted by Santa and holiday music.

Tanglewood Park is located at 560 Seminole Rd., Muskegon, MI 49444.

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