Meals on Wheels groups seeking volunteers

By Jake Harris | Published Saturday, July 12, 2014

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Two Meals on Wheels organizations in Wise County are looking for volunteers and donations.

Decatur Meals on Wheels, located in the Decatur Committee on Aging building, just started using volunteer drivers on two of its four routes to deliver meals to senior centers and homebound older adults in Wise County.

Beth Jones of the Heritage Place in Decatur said the organization plans to put volunteer drivers on all four of its routes in the future.

Decatur Meals on Wheels serves Decatur, Bridgeport, Boyd and Cottondale, providing 100 meals a day along the four routes. Jones said Decatur Meals on Wheels is looking for as many volunteers as it can get.

Metroport Meals on Wheels is also looking for volunteers. This branch of Meals on Wheels is based in Roanoke but serves Aurora, Rhome, Boyd and Newark.

Volunteer Services Director Nansii Downer said Metroport’s independent funding allows the nonprofit to deliver meals to people outside Denton County.

“We never wanted to say no [to people who needed food],” Downer said. “We don’t just go to home-bound people. Isolation is the number-one silent killer of seniors these days, so we also go to senior centers and serve food there in order to get people out of the house.”

Downer said the demand for volunteers to help older generations will grow over the next few decades. The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that America’s 65-and-older population is expected to nearly double to 87.5 million people by 2050.

“We will fail as a society for our older people if we don’t recognize that this is a needed service,” Downer said.

To volunteer or donate, contact the Wise County Committee on Aging at 940-627-5329 or the Metroport Meals on Wheels at 817-491-1141.

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