New Wheels Help Deliver Meals To Seniors
In January, Donna Smallwood Activities Center and Parma Office on Aging purchased a white 2021 Buick Encore from Axelrod Buick GMC with grant funds from Cuyahoga County. That Encore and a 2010 silver GMC Terrain that the Axelrod family donated in 2020 are helping staff drive prepared meals to its eligible senior members. Since March 2020, nearly 25,000 homebound and community meals have been delivered.
Additionally, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) has awarded the city a grant for an 11-passenger lightweight transit vehicle, which will be purchased this summer. “I want to thank County Councilman Scott Tuma, County Executive Armond Budish and the Axelrod family for helping us with these vehicles. They were needed and have already been an asset to our Activities Center,” Mayor Tim DeGeeter said.
The demand for the Center’s two meal programs doubled last year and has remained high. “We need these vehicles to help us feed our homebound seniors,” said Activities Center Director JoAnn Mason. “We might also use the vehicles to help trans-port members to medical appointments when our center reopens.” The Center has remained closed throughout the pandemic. Mason does not know when the center will reopen. Meanwhile, she and her staff help seniors remain connected through the Tuesday Support Group. “We went from meeting weekly in person to conference calls and now Zoom meetings. We brought technology to our seniors,” she said.
Carolyn J. Kovach
Director of Communications, City of Parma, Mayor's Office