Macomb Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

By: Emily Jones | C&G Newspapers | Published February 8, 2019

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MACOMB COUNTY — Meals on Wheels, a program run by the Macomb Community Action Office of Senior Services, is in dire need of volunteers for the winter months.

The program delivers nutritious meals to more than 1,700 homebound seniors every day. Volunteers also provide wellness checks, keeping a watchful eye on seniors to ensure they’re safe year-round.

According to a Feb. 5 press release, the number of volunteers has dropped significantly since the onset of winter, as many of them spend time in warmer places.

With this shortage comes negative consequences, especially because many seniors rely on Meals on Wheels to receive a proper meal and to be checked up on. This is not to mention the human contact they recieve, which may help keep feelings of loneliness away.

“Most folks get assigned a regular route, so they see the same people every time they deliver. Because of that relationship, they can see if something’s changed (health-wise),” said Nicole Urban, Macomb Community Action Office of Senior Services program manager.

The Meals on Wheels press release calls welfare checks “very critical during the winter months, when the weather is exceptionally cold and frigid.”

“If a senior doesn't answer a door … we follow up with their family members or emergency contacts,” said Urban. “They get help fairly quickly.”

“If the weather conditions are severe and it’s unsafe for our volunteers and staff to be on the road, we cancel meals for those days,” said Urban. Starting in October, seniors receive meals that can last a long time so that if the weather changes, they are not left without sustenance.

The process of getting approved to be a Meals on Wheels volunteer is simple. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old or have an authorized parent or adult with them if they are younger than 18.

Urban said that volunteering is beneficial for both parties.

“We have families that deliver together; it’s a great opportunity for the kids helping with deliveries and the seniors receiving their meals,” she said. Urban stressed that some seniors don’t get to see their grandchildren, so it’s nice to see a young face greet them at the door.

All volunteers must pass background checks to ensure the safety of the seniors. Volunteers must use their own vehicles to make deliveries.

Meals on Wheels has routes that run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. To volunteer or for more information, call (586) 469-5228 or visit mca.macombgov.org/MCA-Seniors-MOW.