50,000 more meals in one year for Meals on Wheels Rowan
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - From Rowan Meals On Wheels: The COVID-19 Pandemic meant a surge in need for home-delivered meals across Rowan County.
The criteria for home-delivered meals include being over 60 years old or disabled and that participants cannot prepare nutritious meals. Federal “Covid” grants provided funding for additional weekday and weekend meals delivered to participants who needed food beyond their lunchtime meals.
The Pandemic also revealed a significant gap in nutrition services for Rowan seniors. Multiple requests for services came from individuals who could prepare their meals, but they were “COVID Homebound.” Essentially, they were remaining at home due to their high risk for complications if exposed to COVID-19.
Research revealed that many of the service requests came from individuals who have mobility issues when away from home, lack transportation, and/or have financial constraints.
The Meals on Wheels Grocery Program began due to the Pandemic, and it continues today.
During the early months of the Pandemic, Meals on Wheels reduced deliveries to once a week. The change in schedule left some staff without work because their jobs related to meal deliveries. Board President Tom Robinson suggested that Meals on Wheels contact Rowan Helping Ministries to find out if we could assist them in any way. Executive Director Cindy Fink called Kyna Grubb, Executive Director of Rowan Helping Ministries, and found that some of their RHM clients could not get to their North Long Street location to pick up USDA Food Boxes. Meals on Wheels offered to collaborate with Rowan Helping Ministries by sending the Meals on Wheels courier to deliver USDA Food Boxes to their homebound clients.
Rowan Helping Ministries and Meals on Wheels Courier, Tom Strobl developed a delivery schedule and process that continues today. Meals on Wheels President Tom Robinson said, “this collaboration is a great example of non-profits working together for the benefit of the community as a whole.”
The opportunities to deliver additional meals to food-insecure participants, groceries, and USDA Food Boxes led to a record-breaking number of meals provided in 2020. Meals on Wheels Rowan provided 107,170 meals to seniors in Rowan County. This number is 50,000 more meals in one year than ever in the 45-year history of Meals on Wheels.
Many thanks go to the dedicated Meals on Wheels Volunteers who delivered 66,800 meals to homebound seniors. And kudos to the Volunteer Grocery Shoppers, who made 1,146 deliveries of groceries and supplies. As of April 30, 2021, volunteers have delivered 20,850 meals and made 522 deliveries of groceries.
Thus far, in 2021, Meals on Wheels Courier Tom Strobl has delivered USDA Food Boxes 115 times to Rowan Helping Ministries clients. On June 1, Meals on Wheels Rowan will return to Monday-Friday daily delivery of hot meals to homebound seniors. Delivery drivers and “jumpers” are needed.
To volunteer, go to the Meals on Wheels website at https://www.mowrowan.org/volunteer-application or call 704-633-0352. Meals on Wheels is dedicated to meeting the needs for senior nutrition in Rowan County both during times of Pandemic and in the future.
Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.