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Copper Country Senior Meals (CCSM) has added Jessica Mills to their staff in the role of Assessor. Mills joined the local non-profit’s staff in May.
“I wanted to work here because of the amazing work they have done in our community,” Mills said. “We don’t just provide meals. We provide companionship and well-being checks that make it easier for seniors to remain in their homes for a longer time. Providing seniors and their families that comfort is vital and truly amazing.”
Mills has transitioned into the role well in part thanks to the help of outgoing assessor Caitlin Sundblad.
“The role of assessor interested me because it gives me the opportunity to meet with the community and help provide resources that are needed,” Mills said. “I am able to speak with our seniors and help them find the resources they need in their journey to stay in their homes as long as possible.”
Initial assessments are done over the phone with seniors. Mills then visits their home in an effort to get to know each person CCSM serves on an individual level, to understand what unique needs each person has and to complete required paperwork to fund the program.
“My favorite experience so far has been getting to know the many residents that we provide meals to,” Mills said. “Whether it has been in-person during the assessments that I have been a part of or over the phone. Seeing the joy and happiness that we are able to provide in our community has been phenomenal. It truly is heartwarming knowing that we are not just providing a healthy meal, but also friendship.”
Mills is a Lake Linden-Hubbell High School and Finlandia University alumnus. Copper Country Senior Meals has kitchens in Calumet and Hancock where they cook meals serving about 300 meals per day to residents of Houghton and Keweenaw counties. Learn more about Copper Country Senior Meals assessment services at coppercountryseniormeals.org/assessment.
Any senior who is at least 60 years of age or if you are 55 years of age and a member of a Michigan Federally recognized tribe or urban tribe who meets the income requirements is eligible to receive $20 worth of coupons. Income guidelines are $23,828 for one person per household or if there are two people it is $32,227 per year. These coupons may be used at Farmers Markets that accept Project Fresh coupons in Michigan. If you are interested in signing up, please come to one of the sites.
- Tuesday, June 7, 9 a.m. – Noon at Maple Lane Congregate Site in Lake Linden
- Wednesday, June 8, 9 a.m. – Noon at Chassell Fire Hall in Chassell
- Wednesday, June 8, 2 – 4 p.m. at Laurium Housing Community Room in Laurium
- Thursday, June 9, 9 a.m. – Noon at Calumet Park Avenue Apartment Complex Congregate Site in Calumet
- Thursday, June 9, 1 – 3 p.m. at Keweenaw Pines Community Room in Mohawk
- Friday, June 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Lakeview Manor Community Room in Hancock
- Monday, June 13, 2 – 4 p.m. at Heritage Manor Community Room in Houghton
- Tuesday, June 14, 2 – 4 p.m. at Arbor Green Community Room in Houghton
- Wednesday, June 15, 2-4 p.m. at Douglass House Community Room in Houghton
Coupons are available on a first-come first-served basis. If there are any coupons remaining in stock after site distribution dates shown above, they will be available at the MSU Extension office at 1500 Birch St., Hancock between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. beginning Friday, June 17. Please call MSU Extension Office at (906) 482-5830 in advance to ensure the office is open prior to visiting, as office hours can change without prior notice due to programming and staffing.
You can learn more about the Project Fresh program on the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services website. If you have general Senior Project Fresh questions, please call Copper Country Senior Meals at (906) 483-1155.
This month Copper Country Senior Meals (CCSM) is joining the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in celebrating Older Americans Month. ACL is focusing on aging in place – how older adults can plan to stay in their homes and live independently in their communities for as long as possible. The 2022 theme is Age My Way, an opportunity for all of us to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities.
“This celebration fits perfectly with what Copper Country Senior Meals does,” Executive Director Kathleen Harter said. “We deliver nearly 300 meals a day to help people who live independently at their houses or apartments. For many of our residents, the daily visit provides a social interaction and a wellness check which is absolutely vital to their ability to continue living in their homes.”
As part of Older Americans Month, CCSM is partnering with the Portage Health Foundation for a special series of podcast episodes highlighting what makes Senior Meals such a special organization in Michigan’s Copper Country. Episodes will include an overview of CCSM with Harter, a visit with some of the staff that made more than 86,000 meals for our community in 2021, a ride along with one of the beloved delivery drivers and a stop at one of the Congregate Meal Sites that take place each week throughout the Copper Country.
In addition, Copper Country Senior Meals has launched a GoFundMe. This crowdsourcing effort will help purchase new equipment to keep the hot meals hot and the cold meals cold for the everyday deliveries in Houghton and Keweenaw counties. CCSM is looking to raise $5,205. If the goal is met, the organization will be able to purchase 15 new coolers and eight new hot bags. These tools were piloted in 2021 with funding from the Portage Health Auxiliary.
“The results were incredible,” Harter said. “Our hot meals were at a higher temperature than we’ve ever seen before right through the last delivery. That makes a huge difference in the ability for our seniors to enjoy these meals.”
Copper Country Senior Meals (CCSM) is hosting an open house for local food producers and growers on Monday, May 9 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. as it aims to increase the amount of locally grown food the organization serves seniors.
“Our intention is to learn from growers how we can incorporate more local foods and for growers to better understand our clients and the meals they receive each day,” said Kathleen Harter, Executive Director of CCSM. “This is a great opportunity for a win-win scenario where our growing community of farmers are able to sell more food and we’re able to provide our seniors with more locally grown, healthy foods.”
The event will include a short tour of the facility, a chance for the growers to enjoy the same healthy meal local seniors will be receiving that day, and allow for a question-and-answer sessions.
Interested food producers and growers should RSVP by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 by calling (906) 483-1155 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Copper Country Senior Meals at coppercountryseniormeals.org or by visiting the CCSM Facebook Page.