Nov 02, 2009 Erin Smith Wisneski Uncategorized
More than 100 people depend on Baldwinsville Meals on Wheels daily for lunch and dinner.
Operating out of Canton Woods Senior Center, the program delivers hot and cold meals Monday through Friday to those who are in need and immobile. The cost for the two meals- $4.50 per day.
Clients include mostly senior citizens that have just come out of the hospital and nursing homes.
“A lot of our clients are homebound and can’t get around,” said Donna Metz, the Baldwinsville Meals on Wheels coordinator. “Some don’t have family to help with food and groceries. And for some, our drivers are the only person clients will see all day.”
While the program mostly serves the senior population, others are eligible to become recipients as well. The only qualification is that you are homebound and unable to pick up your own food. In addition to the five weekday meals, the program also offers weekend meals, which are delivered Fridays, along with Friday’s meals, and include two frozen hot meals and two cold lunch meals.
Delivering to Baldwinsville and parts of Liverpool, the operation depends on numerous volunteers to prepare and deliver meals, daily. Metz and Pam Smith, who has been the cook for eight years, are the only paid staff.
“We use six drivers a day, each with about a two-hour shift,” Metz said. “There are also five kitchen volunteers a day with a two-hour shift.”
Currently, there are 95 active volunteers in the kitchen and as drivers.
“Our drivers are great. They are here through rain, snow and ice. The only time we are closed is when the schools are closed,” Metz said, noting that volunteer drivers donate their time, vehicles and gas to deliver meals. “Our kitchen volunteers are great, too. Some have been here for more than 25 years.”
Despite the current number of volunteers, the program is always in need of more to relieve those who consistently donate their time.
“We have a lot of volunteers that go south in the winter, so we are always looking for more volunteers,” Metz said.
From Sysco to doorstep
Baldwinsville’s Meal on Wheels orders food through Sysco. The order is then delivered to Canton Woods Senior Center, where meals are made fresh daily. Lunches consist of a sandwich, pudding or jello, a baked good and a fruit; dinner is a hot entr (c)e with a vegetable, roll and potato.
“People call us up all the time and tell us how much they love our meals,” Metz said.
The center also receives baked goods and breads from various organizations such as P&C on Route 57, and Wegmans, BJ’s and Price Chopper on Route 31.
“The donations are unbelievable,” Metz said noting the organization receives donations from the community and business district alike. She said this year one farmer donated a bucket of acorn squash, another donated apples and others donated more fresh fruits and vegetables. “Anheuser-Busch had a picnic and brought their leftovers to us. They also provide a ham dinner for at least 60 clients during Christmas time.”
A fundraising letter comes out later this month and is the major fundraiser for Baldwinsville’s Meals on Wheels.
“This is where we get most of our funding from,” Metz said. “We get a nice response from the [community].”
The community can also help by calling and volunteering. Meals on Wheels also takes donations, memorials and endowments. “Every little bit helps,” Metz said.
To receive meals or to become a volunteer, call 638-4536.