By Kaitlyn Eichelberger
In 1973, Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels began its first deliveries with just three people and five meals. Since then, they’ve grown significantly and done a world of good for the community.
Meals on Wheels focuses on “preparing and delivering affordable meals to clients in their homes, enabling them to meet their nutritional needs.”
Alongside the goal to provide healthy, affordable meals, Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels strives to offer these services to a diverse group of people. It is one of the few senior feeding programs in the county to accommodate special dietary needs, such as low-salt, gluten-free, vegan and diabetic, all with the assistance of professional dietitians.
Currently assisted by 60 to 75 volunteers, Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels delivers roughly 2,000 meals a month. Volunteer duties include food delivery to clients, transporting food to distribution points and shopping for the kitchen.
They can’t do this without help from the community, however.
With university students leaving town and other volunteers going on vacation, people are needed to step in and fill positions.
When asked what type of help is most needed, Kathy Molnar, executive director at Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels, said, “Right now, drivers. We deliver around 100 meals a day and rely totally on volunteer drivers. We couldn’t function without our wonderful drivers.”
In addition to serving the community, volunteering for Meals on Wheels can be an enlightening and fulfilling experience.
“One thing that I never really thought about [before volunteering for Meals on Wheels] is that we have a lot of elderly that do not have the capability to cook,” said Linda Justice, a volunteer since 2005. “Sometimes it’s really hard to cook for one person. It’s a lot more difficult eating as an elderly person than it is as a family. People are used to eating in family groups, and that family group just isn’t there.”
Molnar said she likes that the service helps people live in their homes.
“I just feel like we really help some of the most vulnerable people in the community,” she said. “Most of these folks wouldn’t be able to stay in their homes due to health and age, and we can help them stay in their homes with these meals. I feel really good about our mission, we’re serving a real need in our community.”
Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels will be celebrating their 50th year in 2023.
“We’ve been around a long time and plan on being here a lot longer,” Molnar said.
To volunteer, complete the volunteer application at morgantownwvmow.org/get-involved/get-involved/, email the agency at email@example.com, call 304-599-1954, or visit the office at 3375 University Ave., Star City.
For information on receiving meals, visit https://morgantownwvmow.org/get-meals/, or sign up for meal delivery by calling 304-599-1954.