Liberty Township administrator Patrick Ungaro and trustee Jodi Stoyak were among several other local community leaders to take part in the seventh annual Mayors for Meals event held March 21 in Trumbull County.
In addition to Liberty, officials from Warren, Niles, Howland, Lordstown, McDonald, Cortland, Newton Falls and Mineral Ridge took part in accompanying the volunteer drivers in delivering meals in their communities.
''The Mayors for Meals program is great not only because the leaders of local communities get together to do this, but hopefully it will also help recruit volunteers,'' Stoyak said.
Stoyak, a regular volunteer with Mobile Meals, delivers at least once a month to homebound residents in Liberty Township.
''It's very rewarding,'' she said.
Ungaro agreed that Mobile Meals is a great service to the community.
''I'm honored to do this,'' Ungaro said. ''Jodi introduced me to the program and I had to come see for myself how great it is.
''There are a lot of people out there who need a lot of help,'' Ungaro said.
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.
''We usually have invited the local elected officials. This year we did invite the statewide officials. While we did have the support of them and received phone calls, they were unable to attend,'' Mathews said.
Mathews said officials commented on how surprised residents were to receive their meals from the mayor, council member, administrator or trustee.
''The people in their jurisdictions were opening the door to see a new face,'' she said.
In addition to helping people, 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.