Can you spare a few hours per month?
As you may have heard, Meals on Wheels is currently experiencing unprecedented growth, and we are scrambling to find volunteer drivers to fill the need. With that in mind we are initiating an “Adopt-a-Route” program which we hope will ease the situation and might appeal to your organization or business. Many of our drivers are retirees who have the time and flexibility to deliver midday. We have heard from other members of the public who say they’d love to volunteer, but they have full-time jobs, or too many other commitments and cannot fit another regular commitment into their schedules. We thought that, if a business or group could take on a scheduled route together, each person would only be responsible for delivering on an occasional basis, and could probably accommodate it fairly easily.
What do we do and why? Meals on Wheels is an organization of about 200 volunteers who deliver hot, nutritious, and affordable meals to members of the community who live at home and have difficulty preparing their own meals because of age or other issues such as illness, injury or disabilities.As we make our deliveries, we also act as a safety check for vulnerable individuals who otherwise might not have anyone checking in on them. Right now, we have 18 different routes in the Fredericton area, and we deliver close to 200 meals a day.
What does a typical delivery entail?The driver arrives at one of our depots between 10:45 and 11:00 to pick up meal bags containing approximately 10 meals along with a list of the day’s scheduled stops. The stops are grouped together based on location, and It usually takes about an hour to make the circuit, and then return the empty bags to the depot.
How often would you have to deliver? Depending on the size of your group and the amount of interest, you could arrange for the group to deliver once or twice a week, or take on the entire week (7 days) for one particular route, if you were particularly ambitious! If, for instance, you took on one day a week and you had six people involved, it would mean that each individual would only have to deliver once every six weeks. If there were 30 people rotating, you might be able to handle more than one day.
What would Meals on Wheels require from you?
Each driver must have a valid license, appropriate insurance and access to a reliable vehicle. You would also require a security clearance, since you will be working with a vulnerable population. We also would need one individual from your group to take responsibility for ensuring that someone was delivering on the day committed to, and reminding that individual. In case the designated driver is not able to deliver, this individual would have to arrange a replacement or contact us to be sure that the route was covered.
What are the benefits? Obviously, our clients would benefit enormously. A nourishing meal once a day, and a brief visit from a friendly volunteer can make a big difference to them and to their “from away” families, who gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing someone is looking out for their loved one. For your organization, this would provide an important link to the community, and a way of building connections and goodwill, as well as an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. And for the individual participants, it would provide a way of contributing to an important cause without having to make a large time commitment. Our current volunteers are amazingly dedicated and enthusiastic about the service they provide. We feel that you too would find this a very rewarding endeavor.
Thanks for being a good neighbor!
Would you like to learn more? If this is at all interesting to you we would be very happy to answer your questions or to come and make a presentation to your group. Contact us:
Tel: (506) 458-9482