Providing meals for those in need

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."

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