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Delivering for Meals On Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers meals to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals.

For several months, Adele and Al have been delivering once a week for Meals On Wheels.

I'm not sure how we got into it. I guess it's one of those things that you say to yourself that you ought to be doing but you never quite get around to doing.

We, I guess we finally got around to doing it. We had to fill out the usual paperwork and then get trained. Training mostly consisted in riding shotgun with an experienced Meals On Wheels deliverer.

The routine is basically the same each week. We arrive around 10:20 a.m. A crew has been preparing and packaging the meals, and the hot meals are placed into an insulated fabric chest that is kept warm by a hot brick. The cold foods, usually milk, bread and fruit are stored in ice in an ice chest.

The system is monitored and works. The cold foods are in ice and the hot foods remain above 140 degrees F for the duration of the route. The route is about a dozen people and takes about an hour.

We're usually moving pretty quickly to get out all the foods at the proper temperatures, and rarely have time to chat with the clients. I'm thinking maybe we should slow down just a tad and spend a moment or two getting acquainted—I guess it depends on how interested they are.

We got to talk with two of the people on the route already. Besides the daily delivery that Adele and I do once a week, there is a monthly delivery of bulk items like boxes of cereal.





One of the recipients commented that he was hoping for peanut butter, Since then, Adele has been picking up a jar of peanut butter each month as a gift for him.

When our plum tree was overburdened with fruit, I started passing the fruit out to our customers. One woman was so happy to receive fresh fruit, that I've been going out of my way to pick whatever is in season from our trees for her. The last time, it was figs and a pear. Each time, she is so gracious and thankful.

We should note that Meals On Wheels has a strict quality assurance system and asks us to tell our clients that these extras are not provided by M.O.W.

Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers meals to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. Many of the recipients are elderly, and many of the volunteers are also elderly but able-bodied and able to drive automobiles.

Meals on Wheels originated in the United Kingdom during the 1943 Blitz, when many people lost their homes and the ability to cook their own food. It began US service in Philadelphia in 1954 and went national in 1974. The organization is active across the United Staes and in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and Australia.

~ Al Zagofsky














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