Meals on Wheels Continues to Feed Seniors in Need with Your Help

The organization has increased its services to providing seniors with about 4,000 home-delivered meals, up from the usual 1,200 meals each day, but they need your help to do more.
Rep Ruggeiro

Rhode Island representative Deb Ruggiero delivers for Meals on Wheels.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in March, many seniors were forced to stay home, where it was safest. Meals on Wheels Rhode Island has adjusted in the time since, to support and provide more seniors than ever with meals each day of the week.

“We are proud to have been able to continue our home-delivered meal service without disruption,” says Meg Grady, executive director of Meals on Wheels Rhode Island.

According to Grady, Meals on Wheels has seen a vast increase in the number of seniors in need of meals due to the need for social distancing and safety during the pandemic.

“We have definitely seen an uptick in need,” says Grady, “and we’ve had to be flexible and shift our services to meet that need.”

With the help of new volunteers, Meals on Wheels Rhode Island has transformed to continue its services during the pandemic. Throughout the last few months, the organization has increased its services to providing seniors with about 4,000 home-delivered meals, up from the usual 1,200 meals each day.

Grady says that the meal not only supports the dietary needs of seniors but creates an opportunity for joy and interaction with its service as well.

“Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island is much more than a meal,” Grady says. “So, we really saw the impact of all of those areas: a nutritional meal that meets one-third of a seniors’ dietary requirements, a lifesaving safety check, and also an opportunity to socialize with a cheerful volunteer at a safe social distance.”

With this, to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and seniors, Meals on Wheels Rhode Island has taken a significant number of safety precautions in preparing and delivering meals. These include hand washing, protocols to clean the vehicles at the end of the day, screening seniors for symptoms related to the virus and wearing masks.

Meals on Wheels Rhode Island will continue to support this increase in need through the end of the year, even as COVID-19 cases begin to decrease.

Driver Face Mask

Delivering food for Meals on Wheels.

“We look forward to continuing our services,” Grady says, “and also looking into the future, to think about how we can grow and expand to meet the growing need and demand of our aging population.”

According to Grady, none of this would be possible without the help of so many people that have reached out looking to become involved in the organization and give back to the community. She said that many donors have supported Meals on Wheels Rhode Island during this time as well.

“We are extremely grateful to the over 500 new volunteers that reached out to us and offered to help us during this challenging time,” Grady says. “We’re also appreciative of the donors, the corporate sponsors and the foundations that made financial contributions to our work in this uncertain economic environment. And, of course, we’re grateful for the seniors who continue to welcome our service and really relied on us during this challenging time.”

To sign up or refer a senior for the home-delivered meal program, click here. If you are interested in donating and volunteering with Meals on Wheels Rhode Island, click here.

 

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