Mayors to Deliver Meals
By Jeff Martin
Ellicottville Mayor Charlie Coolidge enjoys the political aspect of his job, but he enjoys serving meals maybe even more.
As he has done for the past eight years, Mayor Coolidge plans to accompany a representative for the Meals on Wheels program on March 20 and deliver what is oftentimes taken advantage of among many people — including himself — a meal.
“It’s a great chance to get out and see people and talk with them,” he said. “It’s also a chance to help those who need it the most.”
Depending exclusively on volunteers, the Meals on Wheels program is designed to help senior citizens maintain a regular routine of meals, which are delivered to their homes each day.
Like other local area legislators, Mayor Coolidge will spend a couple of hours in March helping deliver meals to those who don’t have the means to cook them or seek them out on their own.
Some recipients are old friends Mayor Coolidge hasn’t seen in years, and each year he is surprised to encounter someone from his past.
“There have been many times when I see someone I haven’t seen in a long time, and it gives you a chance to catch up,” he said.
While the benefit of delivering meals seems insignificant overall, Mayor Coolidge stresses that the service it provides, at least for him, helps him appreciate his village even more than he already does — and consequently helps him serve as mayor, an office he has held for 15 years.
“It does open your eyes about what’s needed around the village,” he said.
Mayor Coolidge swears he doesn’t talk politics with those he serves; however, as he drives from home to home, sometimes into areas he has not traveled in a while, he discovers sections of the village that need a little local government attention.
“You see areas that need improving, like roads,” he said. “You get an idea of which need more attention than others, things like that.”
During the approximate two hours he spends delivering meals, Mayor Coolidge delivers about 12 meals. And while he is mayor, he said he plans on participating each year, as he encourages everyone he comes into contact with.
“I encourage everyone to volunteer in the program,” he said. “Meals on Wheels always needs volunteers.”
For more information about volunteering, visit www.mowbuffalo.com.