PLANTATION, Fla. – Peggy Miller hopes her legacy of helping senior citizens maintain their independence continues as she retires from Broward Meals on Wheels.
Miller has been taking meals to seniors for the last 27 years. The agency serves over 1 million meals to seniors in Broward County yearly.
"It's just a matter of it being hidden," said Miller, the former executive director of Broward Meals on Wheels. "Most seniors are not going to tell their kids they are hungry. They are not going to tell someone they need something."
"When I go to the freezer to fix my supper, it's like a gift or something," said recipient Patricia Clarke. "I really appreciate it."
Each day, dozens of volunteers spread out across Broward County to deliver meals and check on clients.
"A lot of these people don't even see many people throughout the week, so they really crave having that socialization," said volunteer Karen Reynoldson. "It's good for me, too. It makes you feel good."
Miller's main focus while leading the agency was to help its clients remain independent. Broward Meals on Wheels added nutritional counseling programs, grocery shopping services, emergency meals for seniors after hospital discharge, and meals for clients' pets.
"Peggy, over the years of leading this agency, has really come to define what we are as being more than a meal for our clients and providing more than a meal in the community," said Broward Meals on Wheels Executive Director Mark Adler. "She has seen unmet needs in the community and built programs around those needs."
Miller's main message was that seniors are valuable people.
"They are valuable to our culture and they are value to our future," she said. "If you don't have seniors, you have no past."
"I have somebody to talk to for a little while and it really helps," added Clarke.
"I think we're the champion for the homebound senior. We are the lifeline between them and the rest of the world," said Miller.