Friendship Trays providing delivering meals and wellness checks on hot days
“It’s nice just to have somebody just to make sure that I’m safe”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s an important week to make sure you’re checking in on the elderly or those with underlying health issues during the oppressive heat.
One Charlotte organization is doing that while serving people daily who depend on them for meals.
Friendship Trays’ Meals on Wheels Charlotte-Mecklenburg not only helps people with food but also focuses on having people smiling and making sure they’re healthy.
Kelly Vass, the Program Director of Friendship Trays said, “we say it’s more than a meal.”
As hundreds of meals go out daily, volunteers and workers have a checklist of things to look out for.
“They knock on the door and have the recipient come to the door, just make sure that they’re doing well, small conversation, how you’re doing today,” said Vass.
Those steps are taken at each stop during their route.
If someone doesn’t answer, the driver calls them before putting the food in a cooler.
“Just trying to make sure if they don’t come to the door that I call them, especially with the hot day, you just want to make sure they’re okay,” said Rodrigo Hernandez-Farrera, a Friendship Trays Delivery Driver.
Volunteers and delivery drivers are noticing their speech, how they walk, and any differences in appearance.
Allison Hall, a Friendship Trays recipient said, “It’s nice just to have somebody just to make sure that I’m safe, and just to say hello and break up the morning,”
The recipients are people seen each day, so regular drivers can pick up if something is out of the ordinary. An example is a recipient not getting their meal from the cooler, and the food being there the next day.
Hernandez-Farrera said, “then what we do is try to knock, we try to contact them individually and if not, I personally call the office.”
Vass added, “so we will call the emergency contact and say our volunteer was concerned about your mom today, or your sister today when we made, when we delivered the meal, so that’s how we communicate to make sure everything is okay.”
If they notice someone is in distress or it’s an emergency, 911 is called.
Friendship Trays believes it plays an important role in the people it serves.
“One of the things we try to do is to keep our recipients as healthy as possible, not only with the nutritious meal that they’re seeing but making sure they’re in a safe environment, that they are cool on hot days like today,” said Vass.
Friendship Trays says it delivers to about 400 people daily, serving a total of 2,000 meals per week in the Charlotte area.
The nonprofit says it’s also on the lookout for its clients that may need a fan or other necessities when it’s hot outside.
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