Meals on Wheels Impacted by Coronavirus
Updated: Apr 22
By James Clark - Editor at Southern Standard newspaper
Meals on Wheels in Warren County has hit a speedbump.
In an effort to minimize contact with the shut-ins the organization serves, Meals on Wheels has gone to a bi-weekly delivery system.
Starting this Monday, meals were delivered to residents for the next two weeks. The delivery included two cooked meals, six frozen meals and two shelf-stable items, according to Meals on Wheels representative Nancy Mayfield.
“We’re going to keep feeding them, but we’re doing our part to keep everyone safe,” said Mayfield. “There are a lot of issues to deal with for what we do. The people we deliver to are in the at-risk category and are the most vulnerable, but so are our volunteers who deliver the meals. Most of them are retired so we need to make sure to protect them too.”
Meals on Wheels serves around 200 shut-ins a day and had worked Monday thru Friday before adopting its new schedule this week. There are 13 routes that reach every part of Warren County.
Delivering meals is one key aspect of the service. The other is it gives meal recipients daily contact with another person.
“The biggest part is the visit and getting to see them face-to-face and check on their well-being,” said Mayfield. “That’s one way to see if everything is going OK or if something is wrong. Even without the deliveries we’re going to keep calling them every day to check on them. We still want to make sure everything is all right.”
Meals on Wheels volunteers have packed their vehicles with a much larger load than usual. The shelf-stable food included canned soup, granola bars and peanut butter crackers.
“This has required a whole lot more planning,” said Meals on Wheels representative Meredith Jones. “Everybody has masks and gloves to provide as much protection as possible.”
Mayfield was hopeful the once-a-week deliveries would continue, but an even more reduced schedule had to be adopted as the COVID-19 outbreak intensifies.
Mayfield said volunteers are always needed, as well as food and monetary donations, no matter the situation. If you’re interested in volunteering, call 473-3514.
“When life goes back to normal, we’re still going to need volunteers and donations,” said Mayfield.