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Tag Archive | "Meals on Wheels"

MARIANNE BLANCHARD


Marianne Blanchard, age 89, of Cedar Springs, passed away Thursday morning, June 11, 2020 at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born June 8, 1931 in Sand Lake, Michigan to George Arthur and Isabel (Moyle) Blanchard. She grew up in Sand Lake and was Valedictorian of the Sand Lake High School Class of 1949. She attended Michigan State University earning a degree in Home Economics and Education. In 1958 she earned her Master’s Degree in Home Economics Curriculum from Michigan State University. Marianne was employed for 35 years at Battle Creek Public School District, during which time she updated the curriculum guide both in 1953 and 1970. She taught Home Economics at Southeastern Junior High and Battle Creek Central High School and Nutrition at Kellogg Community College. She also taught math and English at Southeastern. She was one of the first Home Economic teachers to establish a Home Economics class for boys. In 1985 Marianne was chosen as the Home Economics Teacher of the Year for the State of Michigan and selected in the top 12 Home Ec. Teachers in the country. When microwaves were new to kitchens she taught microwave cooking at Kellogg Community College, talked weekly on Live at Five Radio and Television Show and also had a television show called “Microwaving with Marianne.” Marianne was a member of the First Congregational Church and its Ruth Vore-Susan Winslow Circle. She served on the Town Hall Board six years serving as president for two years and also served on the Y-Center Board of Directors for five years. She could be seen swimming laps most mornings at the Y-Center. She volunteered for the American Red Cross for 33 years and the Cayman Red Cross for five years in the Cayman Islands where she spent her winters. She was a member of N.E.A., M.E.A. and B.C.E.A., MSU Alumni Organization, Battle Creek Retired Teachers, Electrical Women’s Round Table and The Cedar Springs Order of Eastern Star. She was selected to be a “Kentucky Colonel” in 1969 by Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn. Marianne enjoyed traveling, adventure and domestic activities. She enjoyed scuba diving and para sailing and painted murals and totem poles along with being a sculptress. She was called upon by friends to do seamstress work or bake cakes for events. In 1983 she was the Ladies Champion Skeet Shooter at the Battle Creek Gun Club. Recently, taking an interest in genealogy and working with a genealogist she traced the Blanchard family back to the Mayflower. Surviving are nieces, Darlene Barlass of Spring Lake, Ml and Cheryl (Bill) Green of Rockford, Ml; nephews John (Beth) Blanchard of Jefferson City, MO and George Blanchard of Sarasota, FL; great-nieces and nephews: Amy Donaldson (Bill) and Mark Hoskins (Rebecca), Kristine Thaxton (Jon), Keri Gibbons (James) and Katie Seymour (Ken), Hailie Casteel (Cris), and Renee Blanchard; Robert Jr., and cousins Joan Brown, George Miller, and Tom, David and Meryl Hudson; also survived by a bunch of “adopted” grandchildren who referred to her as “Grandma Blanchard”. Marianne was preceded in death by her parents. She survived her five brothers, George Arthur Jr., Arden Moyle, Ward Douglas, John Moyle and Paul Steward; nephews, Ward Douglas Blanchard Jr. and Robert Blanchard; a niece Kelly Green and her special friend, James A. Shouldice. Due to the COVID-19 virus, a service will be held later when it is safe for family and friends to be together and celebrate Marianne’s life. Inurnment will be held at Sand Lake Cemetery, Sand Lake, MI. Donations can be made in Marianne’s name to The Y Center of Battle Creek and Meals on Wheels of Calhoun County. 

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

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From food to friendship


 

Betty, one of the seniors who participates in the senior pantry at North Kent Connect, looks forward to seeing friends there. Courtesy photo.

Senior pantry at North Kent Connect providing social fellowship

Food is often the center around many social gatherings or events that people attend for leisure or professional purposes. At North Kent Connect, a Rockford area nonprofit committed to improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County, individuals attend a similar event known as Senior Pantry, but for a different purpose.

 “Our Senior Pantry program provides food to local seniors who simply cannot afford to sustain their food needs throughout the month,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director at North Kent Connect. “We see a lot of the same faces and it is an honor to serve our seniors, knowing they can rely on a dependable resource for food every month,” said Guisfredi.

For one program participant, Senior Pantry is more than just standing in line to claim a bag of food.

“I really enjoy coming to Senior Pantry,” said Betty, a client at North Kent Connect. “I have made some really great friends. We arrive about two hours early so we can see and talk with one another.”

Throughout the hours of the program, conversation and laughter fill the building, hugs are exchanged, and smiles paint the faces of people who battle food insecurity.

“It’s really quite special that this program has cultivated a way for our seniors to build a sense of community, bond, and form long-term friendships,” said Guisfredi.

Senior Pantry, an outreach program of Meals on Wheels Western Michigan, takes place on the third Thursday of each month. To learn more about the program and qualifications, visit nkconnect.org/seniorservices.php

 

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North Kent Connect provides extra food for holidays


Algoma Township’s Community Deputy Mike Allen on hand at North Kent Connect.

Nearly 400 seniors and other community members braved snowy roads and single digit temperatures to pick up healthy, nutritious food from North Kent Connect (NKC) on Thursday, December 14. It was a team effort with many volunteers and supplies from area businesses and Algoma Township’s Community Deputy Mike Allen on hand to direct traffic if needed. 

During the week leading up to Thursday’s distribution, 35 volunteers assembled the food bags. On the day of distribution, over 20 volunteers and NKC staff worked together to quickly and efficiently dispense the food to clients. The seniors gathered in the conference room at NKC to stay warm and chat with their neighbors while waiting their turn.

 NKC is the “hub” in northern Kent County for many programs and services, including food for low-income individuals. On December 14, NKC distributed food from the federal government’s TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) and Senior Pantry, a monthly service of Meals on Wheels Western Michigan to seniors age 60-plus. People received such food as whole chickens, apples, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, milk, ground turkey, cheese, bananas, and potatoes.

 “Partnerships like these allow us to offer additional free food to families in need in northern Kent County,” said Claire Guisfredi, NKC Executive Director. “We’re especially thankful for the volunteers who took time out of their day and worked in freezing temperatures outside to make this one of the smoothest running distribution days we’ve ever had!”

For more information on North Kent Connect, please visit www.nkconnect.org and follow them on Facebook @North Kent Connect.

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