In his last few years my Dad, who always did much of the cooking for our family, began receiving meals a few days a week. I cooked for him on other days and always left him leftovers, but the Meals–on–Wheels was a great supplement for him as it became more and more difficult to do his own cooking. More importantly I think for him it gave him contact with the volunteers who delivered the meals. He enjoyed the attention and conversations he had with them. The program helped feed not just his body but also his spirit!
In our county, the Cayuga County Nutrition Program provides mid-day meals to seniors throughout Cayuga County. They offer noon time meals at three locations in Auburn, the Boyle Center, Schwartz Towers and Stryker Homes, as well as home delivered meals to those, age 60 or older, frail, disabled and isolated. The program promotes better health through improved nutrition, socialization, health and nutrition education and supportive services.
They are currently seeking additional volunteers to deliver meals to homebound seniors. Currently the routes they cover have increased in both geographical size and the number of participants served. The routes typically take 1 ½ -2hrs. to complete. The volunteers offer much more than a nutritious meal to seniors in need. They also provide a much needed smile and warm greeting as well as, encouraging the safety and well-being of those they serve.
Volunteers in the rural communities are eligible for mileage reimbursement. A comprehensive orientation program is offered through the Cayuga County Office for the Aging’s Nutrition Program Office and continued support and appreciation for their volunteers is ongoing.
I ask you to consider supporting this program if you have a few hours in the morning to deliver meals to seniors in our community. They are also hoping to increase their substitute list as well as those willing to volunteer a few mornings each week or month. Those interested in volunteering may contact Kathy Gallinger, the Volunteer Coordinator for the Senior Nutrition Program, at 315-253-1104.
As we reflect this summer on the Miracle of Jesus feeding the multitudes and His Bread of Life Discourse from the Gospel of John, let us remember that Jesus calls us to be the Living Body of Christ in the world. May we work the miracles of His love by helping to feed others by offering the gift of our time and the gift of ourselves. Please consider volunteering for this much needed ministry.
God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill