COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — Feed More’s meals on wheels program that delivers meals to homebound residents needs hundreds of volunteers.
Due to the pandemic, the meals on wheels program reduced deliveries from five days a week to just once a week, this was for the safety of volunteers and clients. According to Feed More, extensive adjustments were made to meal pickup, meal prep and packaging to allow for social distancing and to minimize person-to-person contact.
The non-profit organization is hoping to transition back to that original schedule but currently don’t have the staff to do it. The program needs close to 1,000 volunteers.
Feed More’s meals on wheels program delivers along 109 routes across Central Virginia.
Audrey Comer has been getting meals delivered to her home for more than three years. Clients like the 94-year-old, have difficulty with mobility. Comer told 8News, she gets meals delivered every week because she can’t stand and isn’t able to cook.
“What would I do without meals on wheels? No fooling. I don’t think I would be here if it were not,” Comer said.
Each meal is freshly made from scratch in their Community Kitchen. Every client will get a meal that is tailored to their dietary needs.
“It’s a surprise meal. It’s almost like your birthday every day,” Comer said.
The purpose of the program is to reduce isolation while also providing a safety check. Valerie Gerbasio has volunteered for over four years. In that time, she has built a strong bond with Comer.
“Not only are we just delivering meals, but we’re also checking on them to make sure that they don’t have any other needs as far as their health goes. We’re just a companion for them,” Gerbasio said. “These people have been giving all of their lives, and now it’s their turn to receive some help.”
According to Feeding America, food insecurity in Central Virginia is up 15% from pre-pandemic times.
Volunteers are needed for delivery routes in Richmond, Chesterfield, New Kent, Charles City, Mechanicsville, Goochland, and Powhatan. Delivery drivers must be at least 18 years old.
To apply to be a meals on wheels volunteer click here.