Meals on Wheels volunteers honored for service

22 volunteers celebrated for decades of service
Posted at 8:10 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 20:10:47-04

Twenty-two Meals on Wheels volunteers were celebrated Wednesday for their decades of service to the organization.

The honorees have been with Meals on Wheels for between twenty and thirty years, serving meals to Western New York's homebound seniors and vulnerable disabled neighbors. 

Their remarkable dedication was celebrated during a reception at Meals on Wheels headquarters on James E. Casey Drive Wednesday afternoon.

Mary Rug has been volunteering with the non-profit organization since 1987, delivering food to neighbors in Cheektowaga.

Grace Stumm started volunteering there around the same time, out of the South Buffalo site.

In total, there are 1,600 volunteers at Meals on Wheels for Western New York.  Every year, Meals on Wheels serves 1.5 million meals to community members.

President & CEO Tara Ellis stressed the importance of the organization to the crowd, defending it from an insinuation in March by the White House budget director that Meals on Wheels "doesn't work."

"For example, we can feed 40 seniors for the cost of putting one in a nursing home," Ellis said.

7 Eyewitness News Anchor Ashley Rowe emceed Wednesday's reception.