- Written by Carol Foote, Development Assistant
- Published: 22 March 2018
Like clockwork, the Meals on Wheels kitchen starts to hum at 6:30 a.m. when Charlie Cornish, kitchen manager, and Laura Monette, kitchen senior assistant manager, arrive on the scene. By 7:30 a.m., they and their staff are “full rolling” in anticipation of the first drivers coming to pick up their share of the 500 prepared meals at 9:15 am.
Of his dedicated staff, Charlie shares, “The people here… most of them do it because they feel like they’re accomplishing something, giving back a little. I think that’s probably the best part of the whole thing. Deep down you know you’re doing something good for people.”
From his busy office, Charlie can watch an assembly line of staff who own their roles of scooping and passing, counting and packing. More drivers arrive, the phone is ringing, and volunteers have questions of him. I remark that it feels busy, to which Charlie laughs, “It gets busier than this.”
From the front door to the kitchen, it’s a beehive of activity. The volunteer drivers take ownership of a cart, retrieve both cold and hot bags depending on the number of meals they will deliver, push the cart back out to their cars, hoist the bags into their vehicle, and return the cart.
A driver on the Athol route shared, “I’ve been a driver for five years, I think. You can affect someone’s life in a real positive way. In certain two or three cases, you’re the only person they see all day. She’s got me.”