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Volunteer for Meals on Wheels!

Just a small representation of our 187 Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers, this is a group of Trailside volunteers waiting for their routes to be ready to deliver! From left, Roger Stowell, Marnie Bash, Larry Ault, Loretta Waters

In this “March for Meals” month, we at Senior Services have nominated ALL of our Meals on Wheels drivers as our Volunteers of the Month! Last fiscal year, the 187 Meals on Wheels volunteers delivered 130,759 meals to 983 older adults. Senior Services has 20 routes that go out every day, Monday through Friday, from four of the Activity and Dining Centers. Oh, that’s a lot of routes and that’s a bunch of meals, you might say, but what’s the big deal? The big deal is that those 187 volunteer drivers are fulfilling a basic human need for those 983 older adults. They are feeding someone!

Here’s what Meals on Wheels means to the people (and their families) who receive the meals:

  • “We were hesitant to try Meals on Wheels because we figured the meals couldn’t be as good as our own cooking. But were pleasantly surprised! We weren’t really cooking as much anymore, due to our lack of mobility around the house… Knowing (the meals) are nutritious as well as delicious is GREAT!”
  • “Since I have been with Meals on Wheels, my blood pressure has gone down a lot and my pre-diabetes is now ‘no.’ I usually never ate fresh or other fruit. I am now eating a good assortment of foods on the menu.”
  • “I appreciate Meals on Wheels – it makes it easier for me. I do not have to worry about going to a grocery store since we do not have one here in Coleman.”
  • “We appreciate the volunteers delivery to our door. Good job of making the good variety of food and we eat healthy. Got my husband to eat fish!”
  • “The people that deliver and anyone I have had contact with are wonderful. To them, I’m not just a name – I’m a person. Thanks to all the wonderful people.”
  • “The peace of mind this program provides is priceless and is helping (my mother) stay in her home as long as possible… So very grateful.”

Most Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers take one route a week and deliver meals on a predetermined route that takes under two hours to complete. Hot meals are packaged like a frozen dinner and sent out with the cold components of the meal and an evening cold meal (if requested) in a paper bag. The meal sent out is the same as the meal served at our centers that day. The MOW drivers make their stops, taking a hot meal and the cold sack up to the house where they greet the clients with a hearty, “Meals on Wheels” friendly smile. Part of the daily visit is a client well-check, and anything out of the ordinary is noted on the route sheet. A Senior Services staff member will follow up with the clients and/or their emergency contacts after the driver returns to the center. Clients have a hotline that they can call to cancel a meal for any reason, so if they are not home to receive a scheduled meal, a card is left at the home asking them to call us to resume meals.
Thank you, Meals on Wheels volunteers, for your continued service to the older adults of Midland County and congratulations on being chosen as the Volunteers of the Month for March!
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” — Author Unknown

Meals on Wheels provide nutritious, well-balanced meals, planned and approved by a Registered Dietitian. Eligibility is determined by a Care Coordinator. There is no waiting list for Meals on Wheels. Short term, as well as long term service, is available. There is no income requirement and meals are offered on a donation basis.

So why would someone want to volunteer for this?

  • It turns out, there are many reasons:
    “Because they needed help!”
    “Sitting at home gets old. We like meeting the people and keeping up with them, making sure they get their meals.”
    “I enjoy having this connection with older adults. Sometimes we (volunteer meal drivers) are the only contact they have that day. It really brightens their day!”
    “I like visiting, and the folks on my route are a nice group. They appreciate a warm hello and a cheerful smile. Smiles are so important.”
    “Meals on Wheels is a good & much needed program. It’s a real pleasure. I enjoy the sweet people I deliver to.”
    “I think the time I spend benefits me even more than the people getting the meals!”
    “They are always so thankful to see me and it’s a wonderful feeling.”

If you are in need of any of the programs and services that Senior Services offers, call (989) 633-3700. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call Tina at (989) 633-3741.