In 1989, four friends teamed up to start driving a Foods on Wheels route each individual Friday on Topeka’s east facet, providing sizzling, healthful lunches to elderly people today.
Extra than 31 several years later on, they’re continue to at it.
Karen Meyer, Bruce Andrews, Doug Reynolds and Roger Wilcox talked Friday about how they’ve enjoyed volunteering for Foods on Wheels of Eastern Kansas, which is managed by Midland Treatment Link.
“It just would make me feel great, like heading to church,” Andrews mentioned.
Smiles, have faith in and like are all section of the two- to 3-minute visits, Meyer explained.
“It’s the ideal,” she explained.
The four voiced high praise for Foods on Wheels of Japanese Kansas and how effectively it operates.
That business serves the frail, homebound elderly who live in Shawnee, Jefferson, and Douglas counties, stated Melissa Kershner, communications coordinator for Midland Care Relationship.
Foods on Wheels of Jap Kansas experienced 500 active volunteers delivering foods and furnishing security checks prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that amount has given that fallen to about 250, Kershner said.
She encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to call volunteer coordinator Stacy Campbell at her office at 785-430-2186 or on her cellphone at 785-559-9014.
Foods on Wheels volunteers deliver meals through the lunch hour every weekday to about 1,000 recipients living alongside about 67 separate routes, Kershner said.
Volunteers also test on the basic safety of meal recipients. For some of those people, Reynolds said, their check out from Foods on Wheels is the only frequent get in touch with they have with other people.
Meals on Wheels cooks the food in its commercial kitchen area at 2134 S.W. Westport Generate. Weekend meals are also offered for invest in, and are shipped with Friday’s foods.
Congregate foods are readily available for senior citizens who are not thought of homebound at any of 14 locations in Shawnee, Jefferson and Douglas counties, Kershner stated.
Meyer claimed she worked for Parks and Recreation of Topeka when she began volunteering for Meals on Wheels in the early 1980s after getting launched to the method by Pam Walstrom, who was Foods on Wheels’ volunteer coordinator at the time and had worked for Parks and Recreation of Topeka.
Meyer, Andrews, Reynolds and Wilcox all worked for Parks and Recreation of Topeka when they agreed in 1989 to follow via on Meyer’s suggestion that they workforce up to handle a weekly Meals on Wheels route.
That route is on the city’s east side. Wilcox drives it on the to start with Friday of each individual month, Wallace on the second and Andrews on the 3rd. Meyer handles it on the fourth Friday and, if there is 1, the fifth.
Sharing the route has brought the four closer together, they say.
“These fellas are my brothers,” Meyer mentioned.
Their former co-staff Teri Simpson, Lynn Bishop and Lanette Scurlock have filled in as desired to aid handle their route.
That route normally is composed of delivering 15 to 17 meals at 12 to 14 properties, Wilcox reported.
If COVID-conscious meal recipients aren’t comfortable opening their front doorway and dealing with a volunteer, they may possibly leave a cooler exterior their entrance doorway and the volunteer will depart the meal within the cooler, Meyer stated.
The 4 pals, who are now all retired, talked Friday about the constructive associations they’ve forged with the people they provide.
Wilcox recalled that after he found himself “definitely connecting” with a single man whose dwelling was about three-quarters of the way as a result of his route, he begun making that man’s home his very last stop, which freed him up to spend more time there.
Wilcox stated he cleaned out that man’s gutters, and took some of the man’s tools residence to repair for him.
Meals on Wheels recipients have been superior about allowing the four know they’re appreciated, they say.
“All of us have created a occupation in govt,” Andrews mentioned. “A lot of times in our environment, there is a large amount of negativity. And I often uncovered my Friday to be very, pretty very good for me, due to the fact I obtained a experience of accurate thankfulness for carrying out anything that’s so very simple.”