‘Home Delivered Meals’ program looking for volunteers, in need of delivery drivers

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Seniors like Viola Neely have a tough time simply getting around their homes and that doesn’t even include going to a grocery store.

“I’m 99 years old and I can’t move around like I used to because I stagger a lot and I fall a lot,” said Neely.

That’s why New Hanover County’s “Home Delivered Meals” program is so important, but it needs help too.

“Right now we have around 550 participants in the program that we deliver to every day,” said Ellen Connor, the nutrition program manager at the Senior Resource Center. “We use volunteers for that.”

Volunteers are in short supply.

“This board here behind me shows routes that are open and currently don’t have a driver, so you can see that some days, we have nine or ten routes that we are looking for someone to come and deliver meals for,” said Jessanna Adams, the program coordinator at the Senior Resource Center.

The pandemic has cut down on the amount of volunteers, while increasing the demand for meals.

County workers are having to fill in for now and current volunteers are doing double duty, but it’s worth it in the end.

“One of the great things about this program is the contact,” said volunteer Steve Swiss. “You’re getting about 500 meals delivered every day, but that’s 500 contacts, where many are shut-ins.”

That’s why the program means so much. Each delivery is more than a warm meal, it can be the highlight of one senior’s day.

“I appreciate them doing it,” said Neely. “I thank God for them. I can’t cook anymore so that helps me a lot.”

For more information, visit the center’s website.

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