Meals on Wheels celebrates partnership with Boardman Subaru

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Brittany Bailing, Caren Barr, Chris Downie and Kathy Esseniyi from Meals on Wheels decorate a Christmas Tree dedicated to Boardman Subaru for partenering with them for their annual Share the Love event.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Brittany Bailing and Art Harris from Meals on Wheels put hand made ornaments on a tree in Fellows Riverside Garden as part of the Frozen in Time event hosted by Mill Creek Park.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Meals on Wheels employees decorated a tree for Mill Creek Parks Frozen in Time event dedicates to Boardman Subaru who will donate a portion of the money raised from their Share the Love event to the organization.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Dave Scott, Caren Barr and Art Harris are pictured hanging ornaments depicting the faces of Meals on Wheel volunteers and employees on a tree at Mill Creek Park's Fellows Riverside Garden on Nov. 27.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Meals on Wheels of Mahoning County celebrated their partnership with Boardman Subaru by decorating a tree at Mill Creek’s annual winter celebration for the organization.

This year, Mill Creek’s winter celebration is Frozen in Time, celebrating the Ford Nature Centers 60 year diamond anniversary.

Kathy Esseniyi the president of the local Meals on Wheels organization said that this is the sixth year the organization has decorated their tree in honor of Boardman Subaru.

“Because of Subaru partnering with us we are able to do this,” Esseniyi said. “This is our way of thanking Subaru for the community support.”

The local chapter of Meals on Wheels is not affiliated with other chapters in Ohio, according to Esseniyi, though all are welcome to participate in the Share the Love event through Subaru.

Every year around the holiday’s Subaru of America chooses four charitable organizations to participate in the event, they then donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased to the customer’s choice of participating charities. The event runs from Dec. 1-28.

Esseniyi said that all Meals on Wheels organizations are required to apply for the grant to receive a portion of the money raised by the Share the Love event.

“The person buying or renting the car picks one of the businesses and if they pick Meals on Wheels it all goes into a pot all the Meals on Wheels in the are which are not affiliated with each other,” Esseniyi said. “They write a grant and they have to have so many shares then if they do they get a portion of that.”

She said that last year there were 14 Meals on Wheels across Ohio that participated.

The relationship between Boardman Subaru and Meals on Wheels on Mahoning County is unique however, as they are the only organization that works directly with the dealership.

Boardman Subaru employees volunteer to drive with Meals on Wheels to help deliver food to local families, along with the money raised during Share the Love.

Esseniyi said that 24 Subaru employees volunteered to drive this year.

“It’s a great community relationship,” Esseniyi said, “They are very civic minded.”

Esseniyi said she works closely with John Stanko, the Marketing Director for Boardman Subaru to coordinate the event every year.

“The yearly support from Boardman Subaru is invaluable to our mission,” Esseniyi said.

Meals on Wheels of Mahoning County has been delivering meals to local communities since 1979.

The organization requires no proof of need to income requirements to receive meals, only a flat fee of $7.25 per hot meal.

Volunteers deliver food to locals Monday through Friday, Esseniyi said, helping many local seniors maintain their independence.

By participating in the Ford Nature Centers annual winter celebration Esseniyi said that they are able to raise awareness of the organizations work and the annual Share the Love event.

“They said 28,000 people came through here last year. Its just invaluable to us, it really is,” Esseniyi said.

She explained that Meals on Wheels of Mahoning County is always looking for volunteer drivers to help with the program.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to sign up to receive meals, call 330-744-3583.

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