Photo courtesy Meals onWheels

Meals on Wheels San Diego County, a local nonprofit that focuses on supporting the independence and well-being of seniors, is seeking volunteers to help deliver meals to clients throughout San Diego County.

“Our volunteers deliver more than meals, they deliver warm smiles with each visit,” said Brent Wakefield, president, and CEO, Meals on Wheels San Diego County. “Due to the pandemic, the increase in client needs and the demand for our services has made it difficult for us to find enough volunteers to help service all of our meal centers.”

Volunteering is easy

Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of one shift per month. Delivery days are Monday through Saturday, from around 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A background check is required, as well as an active driver’s license and proof of auto insurance. Virtual training is provided, including how to safely deliver during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization accepts individual and family volunteers, as well as groups and businesses. Interested persons can visit the Steps to Volunteer Checklist, which provides details on how to sign up as a volunteer. For more information about volunteering with Meals on Wheels San Diego County, please visit www.meals-on-wheels.org/volunteer or email volunteer@meals-on-wheels.org

Many seniors are often dependent on the food and safety checks volunteers provide. From being at risk of major illnesses and complications from COVID-19 to suffering from the negative health effects of isolation, the need is great for home-delivered, nutritious meals. Lives are saved nearly every week because a Meals on Wheels San Diego County volunteer called the proper emergency personnel for someone who has fallen, had a stroke, or simply needs additional resources.   

The need is great

Last year, Meals on Wheels delivered nearly 600,000 meals throughout San Diego County. To make this possible, nearly 3,300 volunteers were needed. The help provided resulted in more than 104,000 hours donated and 636,656 miles driven to reach seniors in need. The organization currently serves around 2,000 clients each month and needs more volunteers to meet this demand – and to provide a critical link to more support for isolated seniors.

“Volunteer support is an ever-growing need for our organization. If you’re passionate about helping our senior community or would like to donate your time to a nonprofit in need, please consider reaching out to our Meals on Wheels family of volunteers who come together every day to help the seniors that need us most,” Wakefield said.

The impact Meals on Wheels has on the seniors they serve goes far beyond the wholesome meals provided. Daily friendly contact provides important socialization for those who may be isolated with little or no connection to the outside world. Lives are often saved in the course of delivering meals when a person does not respond to a knock on the door, has fallen, or may have become ill. For 60 years, Meals on Wheels San Diego County has contributed to the overall well-being of seniors by providing regular nutrition and daily contact with a caring volunteer. Learn more at www.meals-on-wheels.org or call 800.5.SENIOR.