The Lions Club of Long Lake received a Special and Urgent Needs (SUN) Fund grant in April after the Coronavirus pandemic led to a stay at home order for all New Yorkers. The club had previously donated $500 to pay for five weeks of meals for elderly shut-ins in the close-knit town of Long Lake, which has a year-round population of under 1,000 people.
The club applied for the grant to help prepare meals for elderly residents who were isolated from community services. Carol Inserra, operator of the Adirondack Hotel and key member of the Lions Club noted that elders in the community receive food from the nutrition site in Long Lake yet the site is not available on weekends. Without the ability to receive food from the nutrition site or to go shopping, many seniors were able to receive proper meals without leaving their homes, thanks to this effort.
“With the help from the grant, we were able to give them big portions so they would have enough food for Saturday and Sunday,” Inserra said.
Every Saturday, twenty-three people over the age of 82 received meals from the Lions Club. With the help of chef Joe Thompson and volunteer Laura Young, the grant was put to excellent use. Each meal contained meat, vegetables, and dessert, with the final meal being filet mignon, fingerling potatoes, a fresh vegetable and strawberry shortcake – all prepared in the commercial kitchen at the iconic Adirondack Hotel.
Not only did the Lions Club provide meals for the elderly, but volunteers Michelle Billings, James Billings, and Diane Waters would engage the recipients in conversation and make sure they were doing alright. Additionally, Michelle Billings’ medical background came in handy by making sure the seniors were in good health.
The meal deliveries went out until the last week in June when the Adirondack Hotel opened up for dine-in meals again and other businesses were reopening as well. At the end of the meal-delivery program, the Club had $250 leftover from the grant. The leftover money went towards creating “booster” pantry bags for each senior that included staple items such as cereal, tea, pasta, soup, and other basic necessities.
This is one of many heartwarming examples of how grant funding from Adirondack Foundation has been supporting local communities during these times of uncertainty – and a wonderful reflection of community strength and spirit.