By Pam Teel
Do you have an hour or two to spend a month helping to deliver meals to seniors who are home bound? The Allentown branch of Meals on Wheels is looking for more volunteers to help deliver meals to needy participants.
Meals on Wheels is the most recognized nutritional meal program in the country. The program’s main distribution method is taking meals to seniors who are home bound, but there are many other meal programs that provide hot, nutritious meals for seniors at local senior centers called congregate meal programs.
The Meals on Wheels program first started in Great Britain as a way to feed injured servicemen who could not feed themselves or leave their homes. The first program in the United States was started in Philadelphia in 1954. The United States program targeted homebound seniors who needed meal assistance.
The Meals on Wheels Association of America commissioned a study on the senior hunger crisis in America and found that well over five million seniors suffer from food insufficiency. The study found that low-income, ethnic minorities, renters, and people living in the South were more at risk than their peers. The study also showed two-thirds of the seniors suffering from hunger were Caucasian and the problem was distributed fairly even among rural and urban populations.
As well as providing nutritional meals everyday for seniors, volunteers also keep a watchful eye on the health and safety of the senior when they drop off the meals to make sure that they are alright. Contact numbers of family members are given if there ever is a need to call for assistance if someone just doesn’t seem like himself or herself. Sometimes a meals volunteer is the only contact the person might have all day, so a few minutes of your time talking to them or bringing in their morning paper would do them a world of good. Sometimes you are greeted by caregivers and other times a cooler is left outside the door for you. As a Meals on Wheels volunteer myself, I can tell you that it is rewarding to get to spend a few extra minutes talking with someone and offering any help to them before I leave their home. I’ve met a lot of special people that I feel honored to now call my friend.
If you have some time on your hands in the morning and would like to help seniors receive their meals and snacks for the day, please email Roxanne Robinson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 908 963-1246 and volunteer now. We can sure use so extra hands in the summer months.
All it requires is an hour or two one day a month. You would pick up the food at the food drop off destination between 8 and 9 am and deliver around the Allentown area. Food participants vary by the month. It could be anywhere from 1 to 8 participants. Roxanne Robinson will run through the program with you to get you started. You will also receive weekly emails as a reminder of what day you will be volunteering with the clients contact number, address, and guardians phone number available.
Please call and volunteer a little of your time to Meals on Wheels today!