When I leave Evelyn’s house, she usually says something like, “Thanks for sharing a few words with me!” or “See you next time! Stay coolio!” It’s always the best part of my week.
I’ve been delivering Meals on Wheels for about a year. Every other Thursday I drive around my city for about 45 minutes to take hot food to seniors. Some of them don’t leave their houses much. Some are on restricted budgets. Some just don’t cook.
Some tell me about the phone call they just had with a son or daughter or grandkid, and some talk to me like I’m the only person they’ve spoken to all week.
It’s a great program: providing a nutritious and hot meal, a little human interaction, and a built-in wellness check (if someone doesn’t answer, program managers follow up to ensure the client is okay). In the winter, volunteers provide a couple shelf-stable meals in case drivers aren’t able to get out there because of inclement weather later in the season.
Meals on Wheels is a national program and I recommend it to anyone I know who’s looking to get involved in their community. All you need is the occasional free lunch hour and reliable transportation.
Currently, 1 in 5 Americans is over the age of 60—and that population is expected to nearly double by 2060. People are living longer, but many of the eldest in our communities start to have physical and financial challenges that put them at risk for going hungry. But two million Meals on Wheels volunteers are supporting them, one lunch break at a time.
Do you volunteer in your community? What causes are you most passionate about?