For more than four decades Marinette County Elderly Services has been a key agency for the most senior residents of the county. In fact, some say it’s been a life saver.

“Some people would die without the contact they have with volunteers in their homes, particularly if they are isolated people,” county supervisor Gilbert Engel said at last month’s county board meeting.

We agree with the supervisor from the Niagara area. MCES is an essential program and director Pam Mueller Johnson has done an outstanding job running it for more than 25 years.

MCES, based in Crivitz, services all areas of the county. It provides vital transportation and nutrition needs to those age 60 and older. It has prevention programs and it cultivates scores of volunteers to help in its mission.

Mueller Johnson told the board during her presentation that the volunteers take great pride and ownership in what they do, while providing more than 7,000 volunteer honors annually.

It can be difficult to find people willing to volunteer. For an agency to find an army of volunteers who donate those amount of hours truly is amazing.

MCES literally helps to keep seniors alive by providing them with daily meals. There are noon meals at six locations — Marinette, Peshtigo, Crivitz, Niagara, Goodman and Wausaukee — and Meals and Wheels makes deliveries to the homebound throughout the county. It also utilizes minivans to bring seniors to the noon meals.

Avery Steen, the nutrition coordinator, pointed out that seniors are educated about nutrition and the volunteer drivers check on the welfare of the person receiving meals.

Steen told the board that 53,000 meals were provided in 2017, with 19,000 of those at the meal sites.

Mary Basak, the transportation and special projects coordinator, talked about how the transportation program helps seniors with medial, personal or shopping appointments.

She said most who utilize the service are isolated and have low-income with no other means of transportation.

Life sometimes can be a struggle as people get older. Not everyone has family or friends who can offer assistance. MCES fulfills an important need.