I have been delivering Meals on Wheels through the Volunteers of America program (VOA) to homebound citizens of Cedaredge for the past seven or eight years. I drive my personal car and pay for the gas.
Arriving at the senior center at 10:45 a.m., I pick up the refrigerated and insulated food containers, along with the list of people who requested meals, deliver the meals and return to the senior center by noon.
We have come to know one another, and I am welcome in their homes. I admire their flowers and have even been given a small starter plant. Many times the table is set and ready for the warm meal I am delivering. I always deliver route #1, so there is no delay. My patrons are waiting for their lunch and are looking forward to its arrival. I will miss visiting with them, admiring their flowers and exchanging greetings.
Recently I received an undated letter from VOA which reads in part, "Meals on Wheels will now be delivered by a subcontractor. The lack of volunteers (and again, the overall cost associated with delivering hot meals daily) has forced us into a situation where we must deliver frozen meals to the homebound."
There is no lack of volunteers in Cedaredge! Volunteers who have delivered meals from the senior center include Mary Dobbs, Pauline Nicholas, Dave and Kim Stueck, Kathy and Tom Conlon, Jeff and Jenna Hinkley, Orene and Wendell Hinkley, Dennis and Natalie Meisinger, Eric Faber, Joan and Roger Rhodes, Faith and John Heckman, Jerry Grosshans, Rick Mills and Dona Baptist.
I am concerned that we are relinquishing this personal involvement with the homebound in the pursuit of expediency. They need our greetings and interaction. They have come to know us and rely on our presence. Continuity is important in their lives.