Southfield, Mich. (January 23, 2017) – The Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B), a southeast Michigan nonprofit that helps seniors and people with disabilities, is partnering with two community partners and two local restaurants―one in Sterling Heights in Macomb County and one in Marysville in St. Clair County― to help make sure seniors can enjoy a healthy lunch, along with a chance to get out to a local restaurant and socialize.
Through the MI Senior FEAST Program, seniors 60 and over can visit one of two local restaurants–the Baghdad restaurant in Sterling Heights or the Four Star Grille in Marysville–once a week. Seniors can eat the Baghdad restaurant on Tuesdays from noon to 3 p.m. or the American Grill on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Seniors must first register for the program and receive a meal voucher. They can receive vouchers for the Baghdad restaurant from United Family Services or a voucher from the Four Star Grille from the Council on Aging, Inc., serving St. Clair County. A $3 donation is suggested for each meal voucher. (Both agencies will work with seniors who are unable to afford the $3 suggested donation.)
The meal vouchers will let seniors choose from select healthy items on the restaurant’s menu along with milk, coffee or tea. The Baghdad restaurant is located at 4055 17 Mile Road in Sterling Heights and serves Middle Eastern cuisine. The Four Star Grille serves traditional American cuisine and is located at 1835 Gratiot in Marysville.
FEAST in an acronym that stands for Friends Eating and Socializing Together, and the program emphasizes the importance of seniors being able to get out, socialize and enjoy their community. “The program gives seniors access to fresh, healthy food and that’s important, but giving seniors a chance to socialize is equally important,” explained Andrea Mulheisen, AAA 1-B planning & resource development manager. “A lot of these seniors are on a fixed income and it might be financially difficult to get out to a restaurant often This program gives them a chance to get out of the house, meet up with old friends or, perhaps, have a chance to meet some new ones.”
Being age 60 or over is the only requirement for the program. Seniors do not have to live in either Sterling Height or Marysville to participate. To sign up for the program and receive meal vouchers, seniors should contact United Community Family Services at (248) 528-0130 or the Council on Aging, Inc., serving St. Clair County at (810) 982-4400. They can also contact the AAA 1-B at (800) 852-7795. More information is available at the AAA 1-B website (www.aaa1b.com).
Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan through its Healthy Food Connect initiative. This two-year regional initiative seeks to improve health by connecting children and seniors throughout the southeast Michigan region to the people, places and programs necessary to ensure they have healthy food options every day.