Call to Action: Volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels in Gaston County

Call to Action: Volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels in Gaston County

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Many of you are looking for ways to help your neighbors.

Meals on Wheels in Gaston County wants to take you up on that offer.

More volunteers can keep things rolling, but to be clear, people are stepping up to help.

“The response from the community has been amazing. I never expected it. It just happened overnight,” said Amanda Dawson, the Adult Nutrition Program Specialist for Gaston County.

The new volunteers who have the time to help from college students who have transitioned to online for all their assignments. Then there’s men and women who can do a quick meal drop off because of their work from home hours.

“This wave of people who are wanting to serve, who are wanting to make sure our most vulnerable are protected and fed. It’s just been amazing to me,” said Dawson.

But Dawson and Maren Brown, who both work to organize the deliveries, say there’s still a need for them to drum up a call to action for more volunteers.

“There are never too many. There’s always an opening," Dawson said.

This is especially true right now.

Since there are not enough volunteers, there are some seniors who’ve been put on a waiting list to get food. The new people coming on board to help don’t make up for the volunteers that are stopping their services because of the recommended guidelines surrounding COVID-19.

“A lot of our volunteers are older, and they already have preexisting health conditions,” said Dawson.

To keep everyone healthy, the way meals are being delivered is changing as a safety precaution. Volunteers are now delivering food in a plastic grocery bag and can be left outside the front door. That way, there’s less hand-to-hand contact.

If there’s on thing Brown wants you to know, is that everything that goes into Meals on Wheels is more than just meals.

“It’s also about bringing a smiling face and some kind words to a person,” Brown said.

If you’d like to answer this call to action and volunteer your time. Email Selina Pate at Selina.Pate@gastongov.com

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