July 2016 – Mayor’s MessageJul 06, 2016 09:00AM ● By Bryan Scott
Left to Right – Rob White and Isaac Zenger doing Meals on Wheels delivery.
By Mayor Ted Eyre
Two years ago the Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services approached my office to see if we would possibly have city employees volunteer to help with the Meals on Wheels program. It was offered to our employees and many volunteered to help with this service for some of our residents. We have over 20 employees helping with this program and they deliver anywhere from four to eight meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Many comment on how it has changed their perception of life and how they get very attached to the people on their route.
The Meals on Wheels program helps those who are frail or possibly alone to have a mid-day meal. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday, with some holiday and weekend meals being delivered for use at a later date.
The program was started in Salt Lake City in the mid-70s and was first housed in the old Salt Lake County Hospital complex where the Salt Lake County Government Center now sits – 2001 South State Street. It started small with only a couple of routes and a few trucks. Today there are 1,270 meals delivered daily, 36 percent of those are provided by volunteer teams. There are 50+ volunteer teams who deliver on a regular basis. The longest running teams have been giving for over 20 years.
Salt Lake County, in connection with the Utah State University Salt Lake Extension, has just partnered to provide fresh produce to seniors. Many seniors do not have the resources to go to the store for fresh produce or have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The MealsPlus Program will now provide new items to their recipients. Currently, volunteers are needed at Wheeler Historic Farm. There are two shifts: 9 a.m.–noon to assist with maintaining the garden and produce; or 1–4 p.m. to help sort the food for distribution. For additional information, call Arlene Zortman at 385-468-3197 or Matt Waite at 385-468-3204.
Murray City was just awarded a plaque “In Recognition of the Outstanding Volunteer Service to the Senior Community and Promoting Healthy Communities through the Delivery of Meals on Wheels.” I sincerely wish to thank the city employees who faithfully and willingly take time to not only provide a service to some of our residents, but who cheerfully go out of their way to brighten the day for someone else.