Every March, the Caddo Council on Aging holds a month-long campaign to raise money for its Meals on Wheels program.

For those unfamiliar with it, the program delivers over 1,000 hot meals daily to elderly Caddo Parish residents "who face a food shortage due to physical or financial hardship." These are citizens who are isolated or homebound. CCOA Executive Director Mary Alice Rountree tells me these deliveries are about so much more than the food, though.

"We deliver hope and compassion. It's that knock on the door, and it's the safety check," Rountree said. "Sometimes (with) the bad weather we have all year long, isn't it wonderful that we've got staff members and volunteers that are out there knocking on those thousand doors, checking on our seniors?"

Rountree says it's often those staff members and volunteers who discover seniors who have fallen, and get them the help they need.

The March for Meals on Wheels used to culminate with a huge march in downtown Shreveport. Now, a 5K run will kick off the campaign. That's going on Sunday, March 13, at 2:30 p.m. at Zocolo, located at 436 Ashley Ridge Blvd. This will be the big event to raise awareness of the senior hunger problem in our community.

"We promise lots of sunshine this year, because last year it rained on us," Rountree said. "The actual race party will be from 2 to 5 at Zocolo, and the 5K Run and the Fun Run will start at 2:00, and we're going to run through the Pierremont area."

All the money raised at the race will go toward the council's Meals on Wheels program. Rountree says this year is more important than ever because of all the threats of budget cuts.

You can get registered now for the 5K on the CCOA's website. The cost is $15 for the Fun Run and $35 for the 5K. The price includes a T-shirt and goodie bag, plus a jambalaya dinner from Zocolo.

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