A pie is ready for auction in the annual March for Meals fundraiser at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Photo by Ken Aaron, provided by Kenai Senior Center)

A pie is ready for auction in the annual March for Meals fundraiser at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Photo by Ken Aaron, provided by Kenai Senior Center)

March for Meals raises funds to support senior food service

The local event was organized by Kenai Senior Connection and hosted at the Kenai Senior Center

The Kenai Senior Center last week hosted the annual March for Meals fundraiser, which seeks to raise money for scholarships to seniors that cover the cost of a variety of food service options, including meals-on-wheels, dine-in or takeout.

Center director Kathy Romain said Tuesday that the center receives funding for meals as part of the Older Americans Act, but that funding doesn’t cover the full cost of meals — which are otherwise covered by donations and scholarships. That difference has climbed as inflation has impacted the costs of producing and serving those meals.

The local fundraiser, put on by Kenai Senior Connection as part of a national “March for Meals” effort by Meals on Wheels America, is an opportunity for people to donate to what Romain referred to as “scholarship meals,” covering costs and helping provide access to the meals.

The annual event is a themed fundraising dinner, which Romain says people always enjoy dressing up for. This year, the theme was James Bond — titled “License to Give.” That meant sharp suits, casino-themed decor and other colorful touches. The Civil Air Patrol Cadets filled the roles of servers.

There were a variety of ways for people to donate — Romain pointed to a bidding war for a lemon meringue pie — and all proceeds stay in the local community with no overhead.

Romain said the fundraising effort is important to ensure “no senior goes hungry.” She said the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is increasingly describing that demographic as facing insecurity. She said each year people begin to make donations for March for Meals the fall prior — this year as early as September.

The senior center, Romain said, means different things for different people. Access to quality food either inside, for takeout or delivered is something people count on.

“In a time of financial instability … it helps the senior center, especially as we see seniors who are unable to contribute what they used to,” she said. “They know they can come and get a hot meal at least once a day.”

For more information, find “Kenai Senior Center” on Facebook.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

Items “handcrafted by senior citizens” are ready for auction in the annual March for Meals fundraiser at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Photo by Terry Turner, provided by Kenai Senior Center)

Items “handcrafted by senior citizens” are ready for auction in the annual March for Meals fundraiser at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Photo by Terry Turner, provided by Kenai Senior Center)

The Kenai Senior Center’s dining space is readied for the annual March for Meals fundraiser in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Photo by Ken Aaron, provided by Kenai Senior Center)

The Kenai Senior Center’s dining space is readied for the annual March for Meals fundraiser in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Photo by Ken Aaron, provided by Kenai Senior Center)

More in News

Assembly President Brent Johnson asks questions of representatives of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District during a joint work session of the School Board and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough to enter contract for asbestos flooring abatement in 3 central peninsula schools

The work will be done at Kenai Central High, Kenai Alternative High and Sterling Elementary schools

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 dead, 3 missing after boat capsizes near Seward

Alaska State Troopers were notified by the U.S. Coast Guard of an overturned vessel around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday

Kenai Central High School stands under clear skies in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough approves contract for KCHS parking lot rehabilitation

Soldotna-based Foster Construction will be awarded the bid of $648,997 to complete the project

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital to host Cancer Survivor’s Day event

The event will take place Sunday, June 2 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks to the joint Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Carpenter gives wrap up on session as he nears end of House term

Carpenter is seeking election to state Senate District D

(from left to right) Jachin Sanchez, Carter Lemons, Rowan Mahoney, Adelyn McCorison and Taylor Rickard graduated from Ninilchik School on Monday, May 13, 2024 in Ninilchik, Alaska. Photo provided by Mattea Peters-Williamson
Ninilchik graduates 5 in 2024 commencement

The school held the ceremony Monday, May 13

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee adjourns

The committee will deliver recommendations to school board in July

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out corroded insulation outside of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 in Soldotna . (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna Elementary awaits action on approved bond

Almost two years after public OKs bond, borough asking for more time

Most Read