Mobile Meals, an all-volunteer network of area residents delivering meals to homebound senior citizens living within Chillicothe city limits is seeking volunteers.
Norma Hussey and Linda Donoho, co-coordinators said there are 16 homebound senior citizens who receive lunch, Monday through Friday - even on holidays.
“Our meals are delivered to the clients no matter if it is a holiday or not,” she said, noting that unsafe driving conditions due to weather is the only reason for a meal not being delivered on a weekday.
The meals are prepared by Hedrick Medical Center staff, taking noting any dietary restrictions, and then are picked up by volunteers and then delivered.
Currently, Hussey said, there are three routes, with the third route just being added March 11, due to growing demand in services.
Hussey said that seven area churches volunteer for a month at a time to deliver meals. Other civic groups and organizations also volunteer regularly. To help ease the burden, more volunteers are needed as the demand for services grows.
“We are hoping to get more volunteer drivers, to help out,” Donoho said.
While delivery of the lunch-time meal is vital for these seniors, so is the social interaction and relationships that are developed with the volunteers who deliver the meals.
“Sometimes the only person a client has to talk to is the volunteer dropping of their meals,” Hussey said. “And they need that interaction just about as much as they need to meal.”
Volunteers are asked to make contact with the client when they drop off their meal. Procedures have been established for what volunteers should do if they cannot make contact with the client.
“We want to know that, that person is safe and doesn’t need help,” Hussey said. “We are offering greater benefits than just food, talking to them and making sure they are okay is very important also.”
The group is also seeking a volunteer to set-up and maintain a Facebook page.
Clients are charged $4 a meal, Hussey noted some of the clients cannot afford the meals and with approval, scholarship meals can be offered on a limited basis.
Recently, Hussey and Donoho coordinated a meeting of volunteers and staff from Hedrick Medical Center to streamline processes and share ideas. Hussey said 14 people attended the meeting.
Mobile Meals, which began in 1973, is a partnership with the 55 & GO Volunteer program and is sponsored by the Chillicothe Church Women United. The program is run strictly off of volunteer efforts and donations. Donations are tax-deductible and can be mailed to PO Box 445, Chillicothe, Mo 64601.
Those wishing to volunteer or anyone wishing to sign-up for a home-delivered meal for a homebound senior citizen should call Hussey at 646-7777 or Donoho at 646-4170.