Niles Mayor Ralph A. Infante, McDonald Mayor Glenn Holmes and Weathersfield Township Trustee Marvin McBride were among several local community leaders who took part in the seventh annual Mayors for Meals event held March 21 in Trumbull County.
In addition to local administrators, officials from Warren, Liberty, Howland, Lordstown, Cortland and Newton Falls spend the morning accompanying volunteer drivers as they delivered meals in their communities.
''This is my first experience,'' McBride said. ''I like to see what the people's needs are in Weathersfield and see what I can do to help them.''
The Niles Times / Kathleen Evanoff
Niles, McDonald and Weathersfield administrators volunteered March 21 for the seventh annual Mayors for Meals. Pictured, from left, are Curt Moll, mayor of Cortland; Arno Hill, mayor of Lordstown; Glenn Holmes, mayor of McDonald; Edie Colbert III, Warren City Councilman; Lyle Waddell, mayor of Newton Falls; Gussie Reed, president of Trumbull County Mobile Meals; Jodi Stoyak, Liberty Township trustee; Ralph Infante, mayor of Niles; Marvin McBride, Weathersfield Township trustee; Patrick Ungaro, Liberty Township administrator; and Doug Franklin, mayor of Warren.
Holmes agreed that Mobile Meals is a great service to the community.
''We need to identify the needs in the community,'' Holmes said. It's nice of them (Mobile Meals) to invite us to come do this so we can help.''
Niles Mayor Infante also agreed the annual event helps bring awareness to the community about the Mobile Meals program.
''It helps people realize that Mobile Meals is here to serve,'' he said. ''More people are needed.''
This year's Meals on Wheels Association of America opened the event up to more than just local community officials but statewide elected officials such as senators and legislators, said Sandy Mathews, executive director of Trumbull Mobile Meals.
Although the state officials who were invited were unable to attend, the Mobile Meals offices received phone calls from them offering support of their service to the community, Mathews said.
Many officials commented how surprised residents were to receive their meals from the mayor, councilmember, administrator or trustee.
''The people in their jurisdictions were opening the door to see a new face,'' she said.
In addition to helping those who need it the most, the event is fun for the officials, Mathews said.
After delivering the meals, the community leaders had their own meal together at the Mobile Meals offices in Warren.
''This is a chance for them to socialize without any pressure,'' Matthews said.
Mayors for Meals was just one event held during the year-long long March for Meals campaign, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the inclusion of the Senior Nutrition Programs in the Older Americans Act.
The OAA is the primary piece of federal legislation that authorizes and supports vital nutrition services.