March 2022 marks fifty years since Meals on Wheels, the nation’s premier nutrition program for seniors, was funded. And for Vermont’s aging population, it has become a lifeline for many of our neighbors.
Last year, Senior Solutions supported eleven different local meal sites, both financially and administratively, which delivered 191,970 meals to 1,584 people at their homes.
“Meals on Wheels has saved my life,” wrote one area recipient. “I would not have taken good enough care of myself throughout my daughter’s illness if I had to prepare my own food…It’s nice to know someone cares about me and is checking on me.”
“Meals on Wheels is based on nutritional needs, but there is also the social aspect of having a friendly face come to the door,” says Wendi Germain, the Nutrition & Wellness Director of Senior Solutions, which provides substantial support to the program. “For many, these drivers may be the only face they see all week.”
"Meals on Wheels has saved my life. I would not have taken good enough care of myself throughout my daughter's illness if I had to prepare my own food…It's nice to know someone cares about me and is checking on me."
“My delivery driver…is very friendly, thoughtful, and helpful. Both him and your program are a true godsend. [There are] not enough words to express my gratitude for all you do for me. May God Bless you. Thank you.”
“I am getting a balanced nutritional meal, which I wouldn't be getting if I had to prepare it. This is a wonderful service and (I) really appreciate it. I wouldn't be able to live alone without it. Thank you.”
“More comes back to me from doing this than I can possibly give. The sheer happiness and appreciation that our recipients have when they see us is priceless.”
“You won’t find a better meal for the price. They’re balanced, nutritious, and delicious. It’s a great service.”
“There is a real affection between drivers and recipients. We try to spend a little time with each recipient, because it’s important socially. We even keep emergency numbers handy for each recipient so we can respond to any problems. We are more than just a meal delivery service – we are checking in on some of our most vulnerable residents, making sure that they are doing well."
“This is so important for so many people. I love doing this work!”
In speaking with volunteer drivers across our service area, that sentiment is repeated constantly. From the Windsor meal site, volunteer Jim Lawrence has been delivering meals for 16 and a half years. “More comes back to me from doing this,” he said, as he pointed to his heart, “than I can possibly give. The sheer happiness and appreciation that our recipients have when they see us is priceless.”
Recipients are equally grateful. One client wrote us saying, “My delivery driver…is very friendly, thoughtful, and helpful. Both him and your program are a true godsend. (There are) not enough words to express my gratitude for all you do for me. May God Bless you. Thank you.”
We appreciate the chefs, packers, and drivers who come from all corners of our service area to make this all happen. But Meals on Wheels operations across Vermont must raise 50% or more of their funding through public donations to keep them running, so the public has a role in this as well. Donations in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the service may be earmarked for any of the Meals Sites – including Bellows Falls, Black River Valley, Brattleboro, Deerfield Valley, Putney, Springfield, West River Valley, Westminster, White River Junction, Windsor, and Woodstock, and may be made on the Senior Solutions on our donation page, or mailed to us at 38 Pleasant Street, Springfield VT 05156.