Volunteers needed to deliver meals
June 26, 2019
The Golden Hour Senior Center is in need of volunteers to deliver meals to home-bound residents.
Melynda Lenling, GHSC home-delivered meal coordinator, said the program provides meals to home-bound residents who are unable to leave their homes. On Mondays through Fridays, regardless of the weather, drivers deliver the meals to the patrons.
Even though meals aren’t delivered on the weekends, the patrons still receive frozen meals, a fruit cup and a drink during the week to use on the weekends. The frozen meals comes with instructions on how to properly warm up the food.
On average, 70 meals a day are delivered by 20 drivers, Lenling said.
The drivers pick up the meals at 10:30 a.m. every day. It usually takes the driver about an hour to make all of the deliveries. After they are done delivering, drivers receive a free meal.
“Anyone can do it,” Irish Kreis, GHSC activities and marketing coordinator, said. “They don’t necessarily have to be retired.”
The routes are designed so each driver delivers about 13 meals.
“I split them up so they don’t take that long,” Lenling said.
Even volunteering for one day a week would really help, however, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days volunteers are needed most.
Routes vary from day to day because not all home-bound residents request meals every day.
“I have a couple call me when the newsletter comes out and lets me know what days they need it,” she said.
Kreis said GHSC can also adjust the meals to meet dietary needs of its patrons, including low sodium and diabetes diets.
When a volunteer signs up to drive, they will be matched with an experienced route driver who will take them on the route they are going to deliver and introduce them to the patrons, Kreis said. The volunteer will ride with the driver until they are comfortable enough to deliver meals on their own.
“It’s very nice to have that training,” Kreis said.
“I actually delivered meals eight years before I started,” Lenling said.
Kreis also delivered meals prior to taking her GHSC job.
This volunteer position is rewarding because oftentimes this is the only contact those home-bound residents receive. The meals aren’t just dropped off, but the driver checks to makes sure everything is fine with the patron.
“You get really close to them,” Kreis said.
When Kreis delivered meals, she brought her daughter and sometimes her sons with her and the patrons loved it.
Lenling said she often delivered meals with her child as well.
For those looking for something to do for the community while getting them out of the house, this is perfect, Kreis said.