Panama City - The Bay County Council on Aging provides the necessary services to equip senior citizens to stay in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. While the council offers many services, Meals on Wheels might be the most popular. Each day hundreds of Bay County seniors get a hot meal and a smile, thanks to the program.
Every weekday the kitchen at the Bay County Council on Aging is a flurry of activity as volunteers prepare and pack hundreds of meals for delivery. Greg Burgans has been a volunteer driver for six years. "You feel good at the end of the day when you know every Thursday you are going to come do this. You've done something good for someone who can't get out or is homebound, it's a good feeling," said Burgans.
"We feel, and our board of directors determined this years ago, that food is the greatest need for the Council on Aging to address. Especially if they are homebound, frail, and can't get out," said Beth Coulliette, the Executive Director of the Bay County Council on Aging. "We have about 13 or 14 hot routes we do every weekday, 5 days a week. We have about 6 or 7,000 meals we serve a month out of this kitchen," said Janice Jorgensen, who runs the kitchen.
For homebound seniors, the daily meal delivery also serves as a well check. "Some of these people, you might be the only contact they have the entire day," said Burgans. 101-year-old Ann just might be his favorite stop. She is pretty fond of him as well. "There is something about him, I don't know. He is so nice to me, he is so friendly, they are all friendly but I think Greg is really great," said Ann.
Proving it's not just the meal, but also the friendship that keeps hundreds of Bay County seniors smiling.
The Council on Aging's fall festival is Saturday. It's their biggest fundraiser of the year and it's held at their location at 1116 Frankford Avenue. It starts with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10am, cost is $4 dollars for that. An entire day of fun follows with arts and crafts, a silent auction and so much more. Chicken and hot dogs with be available for purchase for lunch.
The Council on Aging is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information about thier services call 769-3468 or click on the link we provided.