VICTOR, N.Y. (WROC) — Meals on Wheels delivers hot, nutritious meals primarily to elderly people in need. In Ontario County, they rely on 200 volunteers to accomplish this mission. Currently they have 135 of those slots open.
“Well, we are in desperate need of volunteers right now. We have 48 open routes,” says Tammy Richmond, volunteer coordinator for Ontario County. She says this time of year is when many of the volunteers leave for warmer temperatures, and the impact is being felt.
“We need folks in Canandaigua especially. In Clifton Springs we also need some drivers,” she said.
Richmond says many times the drivers are the only personal interaction recipients get in a day. The visiting volunteers also serve as a morale boost and welfare check, and often times, those volunteers say they get more out of it than those they are delivering to.
“Any time you volunteer, you get more out of it than you put in,” says Renee Sanfilippo. She and her daughter Isabella deliver once a week in Victor.
“They say sometimes we’re the only people they see that day. And we try to tell them jokes, and give them smiles and use their names and let them know that they’re loved,” says Sanfilippo.
Other counties and their programs are fairing better than Ontario.
“We are blessed. We are a bigger county, so I think that right there helps us because we are a bigger county,” said Margaret Schweizer of Monroe County Meals on Wheels.
Schweizer says even though they have no shortage of volunteers, it doesn’t mean that need won’t grow.
“This time of year I think it’s a struggle for any Meals on Wheels program because we’re getting into the snow season. The need is always out there.”
Something Richmond in Ontario County is all too familiar with. “Our volunteers are the lifeline of our Meal on Wheels program. We need you.”
Richmond says volunteering can take as little as one hour, once a week. If you’re interested, you can find more information here, or call Tammy Richmond at (585) 396-4046.