Wednesday July 29, 2015

Volunteer drivers are sought to assist Volunteers of America’s Senior CommUnity Meals with hot meal delivery to homebound seniors. The program will resume in September, with meals  to be delivered three times per week.

Under the proposed schedule, meals will be delivered in Paonia and Hotchkiss Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning Sept. 8. Meal delivery in Cedaredge will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning Sept. 16. Meal delivery to Delta area residents begins Sept. 22 and will occur Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Last October, the number of meals delivered weekly was reduced and a frozen meal delivery system was implemented. These changes were necessitated by severe budget cuts, a shortage of volunteer delivery drivers, and price increases in food and transportation.
Senior CommUnity Meals director Joe Walker said, “We are relieved to report that those changes worked and have allowed our program to become more sustainable.” The new homebound hot meal delivery plan is based on the time needed to acquire adequate resources and volunteers for each area served.
The program’s ultimate success will be based on the number of volunteer drivers who can deliver a hot meal.  Walker said, “Participants in the program will have more frequent contact with someone from outside the home and this will serve as both a social and general health check,” he said. “The personal connections formed by meals drivers and the individuals they deliver to can quickly become an integral part of the homebound person’s overall well-being. Drivers are often the first and only person to notice if something is out of the ordinary in the home.”
Senior CommUnity Meals is partnering with Region 10 and the Area Agency on Aging to communicate the message to homebound recipients as well as recruit volunteer drivers. It will also partner with RSVP Colorado West Inc. to secure volunteers.  Anyone with questions or wishing to volunteer is encouraged to contact the Area Agency on Aging at 249-2436 or Senior CommUnity Meals at 835-8028.

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