MERRILLVILLE | Thousands of Lake County senior citizens are at risk of hunger, according to Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana.
Local elected officials assisted the organization on Wednesday to increase awareness of the issue.
"Senior hunger is just not appropriate," said Sandra Noe, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Lake County Clerk Mike Brown and Merrillville Town Councilman Richard Hardaway were among officials who participated in the event.
They traveled with Meals on Wheels volunteers to help deliver food to the organization's clients.
Joan Vith, volunteer coordinator at Meals on Wheels, told the officials "We can't change the world unless we understand the world in which we live."
She said Wednesday's event provided officials with the knowledge of how Meals on Wheels operates and its importance in the community.
Freeman-Wilson said no seniors should have to make choices between purchasing food or purchasing medicine or other necessities, and Meals on Wheels helps to alleviate that problem.
Hardaway thinks it's "better to be a servant than to be served," and Wednesday's program was a "great opportunity to give back to the community."
Noe explained Meals on Wheels does more than bring meals to its clients.
She said volunteers check the well being of clients when food is delivered.
Noe recalled receiving a phone call several years ago from a volunteer who attempted to deliver a meal to a client in Crown Point.
The client wasn't answering the door, and the volunteer was worried something happened to the woman.
Noe said neighbors located a key to the client's residence. While entering the home, Noe heard a call for help from the bathroom.
She said the client fell in the tub the night before and the woman couldn't get up without assistance.
While helping the woman, the client indicated she knew Meals on Wheels would come to assist her, Noe said.
Call (219) 756-3663 for information about Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana and ways to help the organization.