- Written by Barbara Bodzin, Executive Director
- Published: 30 July 2021
At LifePath, we are exceptionally proud of our Nutrition program, which has provided home delivered meals for over 45 years, thanks to a team of dedicated and spirited volunteer drivers. This program is dependent on efforts of volunteers to deliver meals throughout our rural communities, regardless of how remote the location might be. The program provides a vital nutritional lifeline, a wellness check, and socialization, all intended to address food insecurity and reduce isolation and depression. The compassionate and friendly volunteer drivers may be the only person the meals recipient sees all day.
The compassionate and friendly volunteer drivers may be the only person the meals recipient sees all day.
The volunteer drivers are at the heart and soul of our home delivered meals program. Our drivers love what they do, and for many it is the best part of their day. Maddie has been a driver for Meals on Wheels (MOW) for five years and says, “I care for the senior citizens in my community, so I'm glad to be a part of this valuable service. I really enjoy getting to know each and every one of my clients.”
Patricia explains the role of the volunteer driver: “I love my volunteer job with LifePath! Two days a week I load up the car in Millers Falls along with other drivers and a friendly team of kitchen workers, and then get to drive through beautiful Franklin County, greeting appreciative housebound people and leaving them a meal. I even get my mileage reimbursed. It is energizing and satisfying. Thank you for the opportunity!”
Barry has been driving for a year now and says, “It just makes me feel good,” while Charlie, a MOW volunteer for 8 years, acknowledges the importance of the wellness check and food delivery, explaining, “for some people, I’m the only person they see all day.” Many of our drivers feel a great sense of accomplishment, like Shelly, who says, “I’ve been delivering meals for 5 years. The best part about it is the appreciation I get from consumers. It makes me feel good inside!”
While many of us were safely sheltering at home throughout the pandemic restrictions, our Nutrition program quickly adapted to required changes, and delivered meals to the community without missing a day. In addition to our longstanding team of drivers, there was a heartwarming outpouring of help from people who were not able to work. These courageous individuals had a need to do something to contribute to their community. They provided us with the much-needed capacity to expand the program to serve more individuals who were now isolated and experiencing food insecurity due to the pandemic.
As the restrictions have now been lifted, many of those who were available are being called back into work and are sadly leaving their positions as volunteer drivers. This puts us in a position of needing to find more volunteer drivers in many of our towns served. If you have the time, and want a fulfilling and rewarding volunteer opportunity, please consider becoming a home delivered meals driver—it will change your life for the better. As Rosie, a volunteer MOW driver for 21 years says, “Once I started I couldn’t stop! My clients inspire me everyday with their stories, their good humor, and always their love. They truly are the best part of my day. Thank you LifePath for this wonderful program!”
The positive impact of the Nutrition program is clear and oftentimes life-changing for the recipient and for the volunteer driver as well. Whether it is one day or five days per week, the offer of your time makes a difference. Do you want to volunteer, or know anyone who would be willing to make a big difference in someone's day by delivering meals in their own community? Stipend and mileage reimbursements are available. Call 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 and ask for the Nutrition department.