Meals on Wheels needs 50 new volunteers and support this Thanksgiving season

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Meals on Wheels needs volunteers. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

As we prepare for this holiday season of giving, Meals on Wheels wants you to remember the seniors who are struggling to stay independent and healthy in their own homes.

At this moment, over 1000 seniors are on the waiting list in Jefferson County to receive Meals on Wheels.

Give and Volunteer

Volunteering for Meals on Wheels rewarding . Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

For just a gift of $5.00 this Thanksgiving season, you can help serve these seniors and know that a senior in need will receive a warm, nutritious meal and a friendly home visit during the holiday season.

Along with your gift, consider volunteering.

Meals on Wheels needs help in delivering these meals and has volunteer opportunities available throughout Jefferson County. They have a goal to  enlist 50 new volunteers by December 7.

United Way of Central Alabama
Meals on Wheels is seeking volunteers, photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

This holiday season you can ensure our seniors and disabled neighbors are not forgotten when you give and volunteer.

Give as little as $5.00 and sign-up to volunteer to ensure our senior neighbors are not forgotten.

The need

Alabama is one of the 10 states in the country with very high rates of hunger among senior adults. 17 percent of seniors in Alabama are food insecure. The problem is even greater in Birmingham where 19.7 percent of seniors are food insecure.

Meals on Wheels serves over 800 seniors a day and has already provided over 196,303 meals this year to homebound seniors.

Make a difference: Volunteer

Organizing coolers of meals for Meals on Wheels. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

Meals on Wheels relies on volunteers to deliver daily meals, five days a week, to seniors throughout Jefferson County. “Without volunteers, it would be very difficult to serve these seniors, and that’s why it’s so important to bring volunteer awareness to our community,” says Karla Lawrence, United Way’s Senior Vice President of Community Initiatives. “During this season of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for our dedicated volunteers and staff, says Lawrence, “and we want to help other seniors in need, and we need your help to do so.”

“Making a home visit to deliver a meal and check on the safety of a senior in your very own community is one the most rewarding experiences one could have,” says Lawrence.

Volunteer opportunities are available for individuals and small or large groups.

A Great Way to Give Back

Meals on Wheels program is looking for more volunteers like Bert Bloomston.

“You can’t imagine the smiles you get when you walk up with a bag and just say, ‘Good morning,’” says Bloomston. “They’re just delighted to see you, and it could be the only meal they have that day.”

Bloomston says his decision to volunteer for Meals on Wheels came after he spent several years caring for his ailing wife. So, when a friend mentioned the Meals on Wheels program, he knew volunteering to deliver meals to the hungry would be a great way to give back to his community.

Meals on Wheels needs volunteers. Photo courtesy of United Way

“If you look at the faces of those people, then you understand that what you’re doing is a great service to the community,” he says. “Giving back in this manner … and seeing their lives change has been a great gratitude for me.”

Because the need is so great, the Meals on Wheels program needs more volunteer drivers to deliver the meals as well as individuals with administrative skills who can help at the program’s office and monetary donations. Bloomston, meanwhile, says he plans to continue delivering meals, and, hopefully, make a difference in his community.

“The change I’m fighting for,” says Bloomston, “is to make certain that no one goes hungry.”

Give $5 and volunteer today

As we prepare for this holiday season of giving, Meals On Wheels wants to you remember that one small action can bring about big change.

Give as little as $5 and volunteer to ensure our senior neighbors are not forgotten.

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Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.