Meals on Wheels seeks help to deliver food to clients
Like most nonprofits, Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels experienced a jump in new clients when the pandemic hit.
And because Morgantown is a city where people pitch in when needed, more than 30 new volunteers stepped up to help deliver meals. But with schools and businesses ramping back up, many of those volunteers have returned to other work.
Bottom line: Meals on Wheels is in need of drivers.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our operation,” said Chuck Myden, president of the MAMOW board. “Recent vacancies have created an urgent need for additional volunteers.”
In addition to the loss of many new volunteers, a number of long-time drivers have pre-existing medical conditions, or are over 65, putting them at risk of infection from the COVID-19 virus.
“Without new volunteers coming forward, existing volunteers have had to assume additional routes or days,” said Sara Bishop, MAMOW manager. For many, the additional workload is not sustainable.
Every weekday morning, four cooks in the MAMOW Star City kitchen prepare and pack between 116 to 120 meals. Of those, 35% are special diets that include diabetic menus or are adjusted to meet client preferences. Making sure meals get in the correct cooler, on the right route, to the specific client is an intricate logistical dance.
By depending on volunteers to deliver the food, the organization uses all its resources to provide meals for Morgantown residents. Bishop said MAMOW clients are charged between $1 and $7, depending on ability to pay for meals that cost $10.38 each to prepare. Donations from area charities and community partners make up the difference, and free delivery makes it all possible.
“Without the volunteer drivers, MAMOW would not be able to continue to provide meals to people who need them,” Bishop said.
Added Myden, “Unfortunately we can never have too many volunteers.”