During these uncertain times, we are all being more careful. We’re finding creative ways to enjoy life while maintaining social distancing and taking extra steps to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe.
While we enjoy the warm weather, learn new recipes and activities from home, and check in on each other through virtual platforms, it’s important to remember our most vulnerable members of society. Our senior neighbors, many of whom were often home before the pandemic, are even more isolated due to the threat of COVID-19.
At Meals On Wheels of Northeast Ohio, a program of VANTAGE Aging, we’re making sure that no senior is left hungry or alone. Together with the community, we have been working hard to prepare and deliver nutritious meals and put smiles on the faces of seniors in Stark, Summit, and Wayne Counties.
From April to mid-June, we provided shelf-stable meals to clients. The meals were delivered on a 10-day supply basis to reduce contact. During this time, our team called in on clients to make sure they were doing well.
As we resume our regular hot-meal deliveries in Stark and Wayne and frozen meal deliveries in Summit, we had a moment to reflect on how both the agency and our clients have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that no matter what challenges we face we are always committed to those we serve.
Working through challenges together
As a team, we leaned on each other and the partners that support us to make sure clients were safe and healthy. And through our setbacks and victories, we saw just how strong our clients are through difficult times as well.
Over the past several months, we’ve received some inspirational feedback from our clients. We thought we would share some with you here.
In April, we received a call from a client who told us how much she appreciates Meals On Wheels NEO for her services during the pandemic. At the end of the conversation, the client left us with a simple but powerful statement – “Ohio strong!”
Whether helping to prepare meals, answer clients’ questions, or make deliveries, the Meals On Wheels staff and volunteers showed they’re committed to the seniors they serve. Their hard work has paid off, and it has been noticed by clients.
In May, one staff member received an outpouring of praise for her efforts. Meals On Wheels received positive feedback multiple times about delivery driver Robin Brunswick. At least three to four clients each day said that she is very kind, sweet, and they just love her.
In another instance in June, another staff member received an unexpected call from a client. The client said, “I enjoyed your calling to check in on me so much and I didn’t hear from you this week, so I thought I’d call and ask how YOU were doing! Take care.”
The staff member was moved by the client’s thoughtfulness, and the gesture shows that we truly are all in this together.
How you can help
We are not yet on the other side of this crisis, but we are committed to providing nutritional support and a watchful eye to Northeast Ohio seniors. If you would like to join us in our mission, here are a few things you can do to help.
Could you spare an hour or two to help deliver meals? We are currently in need of volunteers in Stark and Wayne Counties. As a volunteer, you will help deliver meals to clients in a designated neighborhood. We have initiated no-contact procedures to keep volunteers and clients safe.
You can volunteer as an individual, with your spouse, or as a group. If you’re interested in delivering more than just a meal to seniors in your neighborhood, contact us at MOWVolunteer@vantageaging.org or sign up to volunteer online.
Every donation, no matter how large or small, makes a huge impact on Northeast Ohio seniors. The support of the community helps us to continue to provide meals to those most vulnerable to hunger, and the need is rapidly growing.
Donations can be made with our easy-to-use online donation page, or be sent to 2279 Romig Road, Akron, Ohio 44320. Your support is so much appreciated and can make a big difference in fighting senior hunger right here at home.
Spread the word about Meals On Wheels of Northeast Ohio to help people know that home-delivered meals for seniors are available. Use your social media accounts to Like the Meals on Wheels program (@VANTAGEAging) and share posts with your friends and family.
Do you have a great Meals On Wheels experience? We’d love to hear about it! Share your experience on social media and tag us @VANTAGEAging or send your story and pictures to email@example.com.
Could you or someone you know use home-delivered meals in Stark, Summit, or Wayne County? Contact us today to get started at 330-515-5106 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Meals On Wheels of Northeast Ohio here.