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Meals on Wheels: Volunteers check in on seniors
Rochester, N.Y.-- We often are reminded in the bitter cold weather to check on older neighbors, friends and relatives. This is something volunteers for Meals on Wheels do every day. The 2,500 volunteers not only deliver meals to housebound seniors in our community, but they also make sure they are safe and warm.
They deliver meals to 650 people each day and are a safety net and a welcome presence to these seniors. For some, it is the only person they will have contact with all day.
84-year-old Mary Ruth Owens said she has had medical issues and needed emergency help before, so she feels reassured knowing the volunteer that stops at her house will make sure she is okay when leaving the daily mail delivery. Sometimes they also offer a smile and conversation and Mary Ruth said she looks forward to that visit.
She was also a volunteer years ago.
Johan Spijker said he thinks of his parents when he leaves his warm home in Webster to deliver meals. They were both blind and received help from Meals on Wheels. Johan said he enjoys seeing the people each day and said he gets more out of it than they do.
Meals on Wheels Director Phil Shippers said volunteers are trained to not just deliver meals but to recognize when seniors are in trouble or danger and may need emergency services. That can mean everything from a medical issue to a heating problem.
Mary Ruth said this service is a lifeline and she is grateful for the volunteers who come to her door.
Right now 100 people are on the waiting list to receive meals. But there isnt any money available to provide them, because of budget cuts. Thats why Meals on Wheels also asks for help from the public to keep this service going and help as many people as possible.