It’s early August 2022 and Independence Meals on Wheels continues to appreciate the volunteers who bring meals to our meal recipients (who are often elderly, disabled or otherwise unable to prepare their own meals). The MOW route driver is often the only person his/her meal recipients will see that day. What a wonderful, satisfying volunteer service! Drivers are the heart (and feet) of Meals on Wheels.
Our route drivers are very dedicated. They enjoy interacting with meal recipients (just like the other way around). But we need new drivers! Our number of meals delivered is increasing, our regular drivers take vacations (or otherwise need to miss driving now and then), and we lose a driver for various reasons periodically.
Would you (or you and another person, or someone else you know) be willing to become a route driver? Here is how it works. You talk with Margaret Baldomino (office phone 816-254-9566), our Program Manager, to select a day of the week to drive a route and then you arrive at Trinity Episcopal Church around 9:45 am to pick up meals for people on your assigned route. You will get a red bag with warm meals and a blue bag with cool meal items, You will also obtain a route sheet that gives you directions for getting from one location to the next. When you have delivered all the meals you bring the empty bags back to the Church. Counting your drive time from home, the whole effort requires between l and 2 hours. Usually that is just 1 to 2 hours per week! Interested but hesitant? Contact Margaret and ask to ride along with a current driver as they do their route! Or, simply arrive some morning at the Church around 10 am and observe drivers picking up meals to deliver—ask them how they like what they do!
Independence Meals on Wheels should have a Hall of Fame. Perhaps for outstanding Board members, but certainly for our volunteer route drivers. A former driver, Betty Shrout, recently died. Her obituary mentions she “delivered Meals on Wheels for many years”. And, a person who knew her from that period said “Betty delivered out of Independence Regional and was very dependable.” If we had a Hall of Fame, Betty may have been worthy of membership. There are many others from the past who would have been deserving. And there are some current drivers who would merit “future Hall of Fame candidate” status.
Indeed, Meals on Wheels drivers have been a remarkable group for a long time. They score the highest of any category in our annual meal recipient surveys. But they provide this service selflessly, saying they receive more from the experience than they give. They appreciate the meal recipients as much as the recipients value them. Perhaps a Hall of Fame is not that important after all.
We are always interested in, and often in need of, new volunteer drivers who want to join the rich heritage that has been established!
This is the holiday schedule Northwest Community Development Center, our meal provider, will be observing in 2022. Independence Meals on Wheels will deliver holiday meals the day before the holiday (or before the first day when two days in a row are scheduled as holidays) for meal recipients who indicate (to the MOW office) they would like to receive them:
January 17, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
April 15, Good Friday
May 27, Memorial Day Holiday
May 30, Memorial Day Observed
July 4, Independence Day
July 5, Independence Day Holiday
September 2, Labor Day Holiday
September 5, Labor Day
November 24, Thanksgiving Day
November 25, Thanksgiving Day Holiday
December 23, Christmas Eve Observed
December 26, Christmas Observed
Independence Meals on Wheels was fortunate to be able to work a night at Longview Lake’s fun and entertaining Christmas in the Park—an annual event that allows selected nonprofit organizations the opportunity to work an evening as a fundraiser by accepting voluntary donations from cars as they complete the drive through the park. The money collected in this manner goes directly to Jackson County Parks and Recreation, but the nonprofit organizations are paid a specified amount for “working the event”. MOW worked on December 29, 2021 on a cold evening! It was a lot of fun!
For Christmas 2021, Farrand Farms Garden Center donated 150+ beautiful Poinsettias to MOW for our meal recipients. The Poinsettias were delivered by our volunteer route drivers on Wednesday, December 22. Our meal recipients were delighted with the Poinsettias and expressed gratitude for the generosity of Farrand Farms. Meals on Wheels echoes that sentiment–thank you, Farrand Farms!
Independence Meals on Wheels depends on financial grants and other donations to support us in achieving our mission. As was the case in 2021, we will be funded in part by a grant from Truman Heartland Community Foundation in 2022.
The Community Foundation is committed to improving the communities in and around Eastern Jackson County through partnerships with community members and donors. We appreciate Truman Heartland’s support!
Independence Meals on Wheels
409 N Liberty