Meals on Wheels lacking funds, 1,000 seniors on waiting list

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Meals on Wheels helps thousands of seniors in the metro area.

The program is funded by the Offices of the Area Agency on Aging. One of those Detroit offices is lacking the money - but you can help.
"Help these people out, these are our parents, our grandparents. You know, it almost makes me want to cry. They need the help bad," says Pam Macioce. 

Macioce, a Meals on Wheels volunteer, is driven by love. 

"When you see them smile, you sit there and you chit chat a little bit," Macioce said. "If I can make them laugh. Sometimes you can tell when these people are a little bit down in the dumps."

It's a love fueled by human touch and the simple, yet rare principle that everyone deserves to be lifted up with talk and food to feed the soul. 

Carol Westhouse has lived in her Livonia home for almost 50 years. She's cooked up a lot of meals in this kitchen, but now someone's cooking with her. 

The need is big. The problem just as real as the need. There are currently 1,000 seniors in Wayne County that want one warm meal a day but can't have it. 

There is not enough money so they are on a waiting list for Meals on Wheels. 

"Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and the Grosse Pointe are in the eastern half of the county and that's funded from the Detroit Area Agency on Aging and they have a greater demand than they can meet," said Kevin Kelley, Wayne County Senior Services.

For those five communities, there's not enough cash to buy the green beans, turkey, milk and bread that's both delivered and also stationed at senior centers. There are two funding sources in Wayne County. Executive Warren Evans helped unlocked enough cash to allow the meals to flow freely in this area. 

But the Detroit Area Agency on Aging doesn’t have enough money. They are hoping a fundraiser in May will change that.

"It saves me a lot of time," said Westhouse. "When my body tells me it's time to eat, I can go to my oven and refrigerator and take them out and it's ready. You can't beat that," 

Macioce says she loves listening to the people she works with.

"I like to listen to them, they remind me of my parents. Some of the stories. Some of the things they've seen in their lives. I enjoy it," she said.

To help out, May 21 there will be a fund raiser at Matick Chevrolet in Redford on Telegraph Road at the brand-new Matick Auto Wash. FOX 2’s Roop Raj will MC the event. Tickets are $125 each and it will feature live music, a strolling dinner, a special give-away, ribbon-cutting, cocktails, short program and more. Tickets may be bought in groups.

To purchase tickets, make a donation or to become a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, contact the event hotline at (313) 765-1516 or go to