Critical Shortage of 'Meals on Wheels' Volunteers

By: News 10
By: News 10

For the first time in years, there is a severe shortage of volunteers who help deliver Meals On Wheels. The Tri-County Office on Aging program provides more than 450,000 hot, nutritious meals annually in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties to older adults and people with disabilities.

More than 1,600 people volunteer each year to deliver Meals On Wheels. At least 170 more volunteers are currently needed to deliver either daily, weekly or once a month. Training takes less than an hour.

The most critical needs are in the following areas:

Greater Lansing (517 -887-1460) needs more than 100 volunteers with the greatest needs in East Lansing, north and south Lansing.

Rural Ingham County (517-676-2775) needs volunteers in Stockbridge, Dansville and Onondaga.

Clinton County (989-224-3600) needs volunteers in DeWitt, St. Johns and Eureka.

Eaton County (517-541-2330) needs volunteers in Grand Ledge, Delta Township, Charlotte, Dimondale and Potterville.

According to Bob Parsons, a Meals On Wheels volunteer who coordinates a downtown Lansing route with colleagues from the Michigan Department of Transportation, delivering Meals On Wheels is the ideal volunteer experience. “You can deliver as often as your schedule allows. Most routes can be done on a lunch hour so almost anyone can deliver Meals On Wheels”, said Parsons. He added, “Not only do you help people with a nutritious meal, you also brighten their day with a smile and friendly face.”

“Community support for this program is tremendous,” said Jim Allen, Nutrition Director for the Tri-County Office on Aging. “Many companies adopt a Meals On Wheels route, but working individuals, retirees, stay-at-home parents, religious and community organizations can all adopt a Meals On Wheels route or volunteer. We are confident that the community will rally to meet this need,” he added.


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