May 2022
Your quarterly news & updates
The Muskegon Millage Minute is your source for regular updates on programs and services funded by the Muskegon County Senior Millage, which was approved by county voters in August of 2016.

Members of the Muskegon County Senior Activities Committee (MCSAC) make recommendations for programs and services to the full board of commissioners. MCSAC members are: Commissioners Kim Cyr, Marcia Hovey-Wright, and Bob Scolnik; Rachel Cereska, Peggy Foster, Nancy McCarthy, Greg Scott, Robert Sewick, and Steve Warmington.

Senior Resources of West Michigan, the area agency on aging for Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties, is the administrator of grants, and produces this quarterly newsletter update. If you have questions about the Muskegon County Senior Millage, please contact Karla Betten at Senior Resources, 231-733-3593, or email Contact Lisa Tyler, communications director, at, if there is something specific you'd like to see covered in a future newsletter.
Program providers share program highlights
At the March and May Senior Activities Committee meetings, several millage-funded programs were invited to share updates on their programs. See brief summaries below.
Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ABVI) - Low Vision Rehabilitation, Counseling, Support Groups
ABVI offers life-changing vision rehabilitation services to help people struggling with visual impairments or blindness. ABVI has low vision optometrists, vision rehabilitation therapists, occupational therapists, an orientation and mobility therapist, a social worker, and a client advocate. There is a mobile clinic in Muskegon.

ABVI provides low vision clinics and follow-up home rehabilitation services, blindness rehab, mobility and cane training, counseling and support services, vision loss prevention education, ad more. Senior millage funding provides low vision rehab, which involves teaching someone with low vision how to use their remaining sight to its maximum potential. ABVI teaches how to use magnifiers, electronic devices, and more.

For more info, contact ABVI at 616-458-1187.
Volunteer for Dental - Dental Care, Dentures, Preventative Care
Volunteer for Dental is a community "pay it forward" program providing dental services and oral health education.

Volunteer dentists provide services to people without dental insurance or those who are underinsured; those participants volunteer in order to "earn" money toward services.

Volunteer for Dental offers X-rays, exams, fillings, tooth removal, cleanings and treatment for gum disease, over 20 volunteer dentists who provide services, and over 20 non-profit organizations with volunteer options. Services are available for uninsured or underinsured Muskegon County residents who meet income limits.

Learn more by visiting, or call 231-773-1360.
AgeWell Services - Home Delivered Meals
In fiscal year 2020-21, AgeWell Services delivered 25,012 meals funded through the senior millage. Meals are available for those over age 60 and homebound.

Home delivered meals are more than just a nutritious meal; AgeWell's participant surveys show that 62% of clients say their driver is the only person they might see in a day.

During the pandemic, services continued without interruption. A variety of partnerships provided added services such as care packages, N95 masks, magazines, information about mental health and COVID resources, and more.

Find out more at, or call (231) 755-0434.
Fruitport Lions - Senior Power of Produce

The Senior Power of Produce provides tokens to the Muskegon Farmers Market for adults 60 and older in Muskegon County. The program typically begins in July and runs through early fall. This year it will be offered on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Power of Produce volunteers reported that participants are often cooking healthier meals due to the program. They shared the story of a woman who was cooking for 8 couples who were registered in the program; they were eating much healthier due to the availability of fresh produce.

The tokens are turned in by the farmers and they are reimbursed for the purchases. They often serve more than 1,000 older adults in a day. Older adults may sign up on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the market.
Muskegon YMCA - Veggie Van
The YMCA Veggie Van is a year-round mobile farmers market, providing fresh fruits and vegetables. Muskegon County adults 60 and older can get fresh produce through the mobile unit, which currently makes stops at several sites each week - SHAWL I and II, Jefferson Towers, Hickory Village/Carriage House, Pine Grove Manor, Nelson Place, and Bayview Towers. The Veggie Van also stops monthly at Hartford Terrace.

During COVID, the Veggie Van has made adaptations - grocery lists are distributed to senior housing a week in advance, orders are submitted, fruits and veggies are pre-bagged to the list specifications, and payment is made upon delivery.

In FY22, 242 older adults placed 911 orders. The van also accepts SNAP benefits and Double Up Food Bucks.

For more information, call the Y at (231) 722-9622 or visit the Muskegon Y website.
AgeWell Services - Senior Medical Transportation

Transportation is often a barrier for older adults; AgeWell's senior medical transportation helps address that need by providing free rides for qualifying older adults to medical appointments.

AgeWell Services took on the long-running senior transportation program in July of 2019 when it transitioned from American Red Cross, which had housed it since 1986. Non-emergency medical transportation is available to low-income (150% of poverty rate) county residents 60 and over; for those 80 or older the low income criteria does not apply. Riders must be able to transfer themselves in and out of a car.

In FY21 almost half of the rides were for dialysis patients. Rides are door to door from home to any medical facility in Muskegon County. There were more than 9,052 one-way rides provided in the most recent fiscal year to 272 Muskegon County residents. Volunteer drivers put 105,751 miles on the AgeWell vehicles, equaling more than four times around the earth! They average 425 miles/day. The 66 volunteers (drivers, dispatchers, or office support) provided 10,044 hours of time.

Volunteers are always needed! They can provide even more rides with more drivers. Volunteers do four-hour shifts - 8 a.m. to noon, or noon to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, with flexible hours. To volunteer, call 231-559-0476.
Disability Network West Michigan - Transportation Vouchers

Disability Network West Michigan provides transportation vouchers to county older adults who can find a driver but need help with the cost of providing the transportation.

"Thanks to the (program) I'm able to access the community on weekends and Sunday for church," said Stanley Allen. "I'm trying new foods and activities. The program is a big part of me staying healthy, active and engaging in my community. I have attended concerts, stage plays, grocery shopping, flea markets, thrift stores, and visit family."
Living Word Church: Lawn Maintenance and Snow Removal

Living Word Church provides snow removal and lawn maintenance for Muskegon County older adults. They started serving about 50 seniors and are now serving about 125 through each of the programs funded by the senior millage. They serve more seniors through partnerships with some specific municipalities.

One older adult's daughter signed up her mother, and reported her mother's anxiety is reduced because she is not worried about being fined for her yard. Another person with a ramp in Muskegon Heights had needed to cancel medical appointments due to snow on the ramp; with the snow removal service the senior could regularly attend needed medical appointments.
Love INC - Ramps

Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) provided almost 20 ramps in the last 18 months to older adults in Muskegon County through senior millage funding. They provide wooden or aluminum ramps for those whose medical provider has confirmed the need for the ramp. Aluminum ramps have allowed Love to install ramps year-round. Staff shared the story of a woman who has not left her home in more than 2 years, but will soon due to the installation of a ramp.

Aluminum ramps take about a half a day to install, while wood ramps take about 2 days. There is one volunteer team that builds about a ramp per month; they are working on a second team. More volunteers would mean more ramps could be completed.

Call 231-773-3448 or email
Ravenna Township - Full Service Grocery

Ravenna Township offers its residents transportation and assistance with shopping for groceries. They have more than 90 participants.

They shared two stories:

  • Paul and Dan have been part of the grocery transportation program since its beginning. Kelton is a middle school student who volunteered to help them. A friendship quickly formed between them. "Dan has a sweet sense of humor and loves to give Kelton a hard time and Kelton enjoys hanging out with Dan."

  • During COVID, volunteers shopped for Joyce and would deliver the groceries to her apartment. She has again joined the group on the bus that goes into Muskegon for groceries. "It's a joy to hear the stories from her younger years and she enjoys spending time with our volunteers and other participants. She has shared with us how grateful she is to have this service available."
Second quarter reports show senior millage programming usage

Despite a pandemic that continues to challenge programming in several areas, older adults in Muskegon County were able to access a wide variety of programs and services in the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 (January 1-March 31, 2022).

Senior Resources shared its quarterly reports with the Senior Activities Committee recently. These unaudited reports can be found here on the website.