Meals on Wheels of Sonoma has continued its 47 years of service to the community, adjusting to the pandemic along the way. But after nine months of modified service, the ranks of its volunteer delivery crew is thinning. Help is needed.
The nonprofit, explains Driver Coordinator Hunt Sharp, provides meals to around 60 people, mostly elderly, mostly shut-ins with precious few food options. It’s an all-volunteer effort.
“The five-person kitchen staff prepares multi-course dinners and bag lunches,” he said. “We deliver, five days a week, including holidays, the fresh hot meal and bag lunch into our clients’ homes.”
That bit of human interaction, even in the age of social distancing, is an important element of the service MOW provides.
“Wearing masks, practicing social distancing, we deliver a frozen meal and the bag lunch to porch bound containers. We knock on the door, ring the bell, and try to have “Hi, how are you?” conversation at a distance.”
To stay at full strength, MOW needs 30 regular drivers and about ten relief drivers. “We are short about eight drivers,” Sharp says. Currently, drivers commit two hours once a week starting with pickup around 10:30 a.m. at the kitchen, delivering to 8 to 10 stops on one of the six neighborhood routes.”
Since the advent of pandemic protocols, MOW sources its meals from Safeway orders or the Council on Aging kitchen in Santa Rosa. “This is not our preferred culinary choice, but has worked and we have not missed a meal, approaching 12,000 delivered under Covid.”
Interested in helping out? Call 996-2243 or contact [email protected], .