August 14, 2020

The Estuary Council of Seniors Essay Wins Grant Money to Help Local Seniors in Need

The Estuary Council of Seniors (ECSI) Meals on Wheels program has just won $100 from the Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA)/Subaru “Share the Love” grant program.  Subaru’s “Share the Love Event” inspires sharing stories of bringing food and compassion to local seniors in the nine-town Estuary region which includes Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook, plus the town of Madison, CT.

The winning essay (see below) describes how the Meals on Wheels volunteer driver “saved a life”. 

The money comes at a critical time for this Meals On Wheels program, and the more than 140 other grant winners nationwide.  The country’s economic downturn has made it more difficult to raise money to continue feeding our community’s homebound and other hungry seniors. ECSI plans to use the money to purchase food for the program.  

The MOWAA/Subaru “Share the Love” grant is tied to Subaru’s Share the Love Event.  The Share the Love Event will run from Nov. 20, 2010 – Jan. 3, 2011.   Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased to the customer’s choice of one of five charities, including MOWAA.

Volunteer Phyllis Duhig (L), Winnie Costello (R)

“These Meals On Wheels programs share love every day by bringing food and companionship to America’s hungry seniors,” said MOWAA President and CEO Enid Borden.  “For the third year in a row Subaru has generously included Meals On Wheels in its Share the Love Event.  We want the world to read these stories and find out more about what these amazing Meals On Wheels programs do every day to ‘Share the Love’ in their communities.”

“The Estuary Council of Seniors in very grateful to MOWAA and Subaru for their donation, but also for giving us the opportunity to tell our very compelling stories about the need for Meals On Wheels throughout the country.” said Paula Ferrara, Executive Director of the Estuary Council of Seniors.

How to Help

The next phase of this competition relies on getting the most Facebook users to “Like” this story.  More than 140 “Share the Love” essays from programs across the country have been posted on MOWAA’s Member blog.   The Meals On Wheels program with the most “Likes” will win an additional $500.  Those placing 2nd through 10th will receive an additional $250.    To “Like” the local essay submitted for this Facebook contest, go to and search “ECSI”.

The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. is a nine-town community resource for seniors providing programs, services, education, and advocacy while promoting independent living. ECSI provides senior nutrition, transportation, health and support services, and socialization. Please visit our website at

The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. Winning Essay

The holiday season is a time when most of us share the love with our family and friends.    Meals On Wheels shares the love with our local seniors who would otherwise be all alone and hungry during the holidays.  It’s only fitting that we are partnering with our friends at Subaru for the third year in a row for their “Share the Love” Event to raise funds to support Meals On Wheels.  This is just one story of how we share the love here in our community.

“It’s a fabulous service for our residents,” said Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold who stopped by the Lyme’s Senior Center on March 20, the designated day for local elected officials to help with MOW deliveries.

“It’s wonderful to see how pleased the folks are to see the driver and the food every day,” said Griswold, who has helped deliver meals in the past and plans to do so again soon.  “It’s both a social and nutritional service.”

The drivers visit briefly with the client and chick up on them, Norman said. If the person isn’t there, or there seems to be a problem, they report that back to her and she alerts others.

“We even saved a life last year,” she noted.  One of the drivers found a 93-year-old gentleman sitting alone in his house during a severe rain  storm.  His caregiver was on vacation.  The heat had gone out , but the oil company wouldn’t come because the basement was flooded.  Norman called the police, who quickly got the fire department and oil company out there to address the problem