On the Road for Meals on Wheels

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Arbors at Delaware has taken their mission of providing senior health care outside the walls of their long-term care facility on Warrensburg Road.

As a Meals on Wheels delivery partner, three Arbors employees share weekly meal duties on their Delaware route. Tracey Cugini, Lisa Stouffer, and Kim Stump meet monthly to compare work calendars and map out their delivery schedules for the coming month.

“As an organization, we just wanted to give back to the community,” Tracey said. “And we love it.”

The collaboration between Arbors and SourcePoint dates back to 2012, when Lisa, the activities director, and two other coworkers first teamed up to serve the public while representing their company. Kim, Arbors’ medical records clerk, joined later. When Tracey, the admissions director and area manager, transferred to Arbors’ Delaware branch, she was eager to keep the program going, having delivered meals with staff at her previous branch. “As an organization, we just wanted to give back to the community,” Tracey said. “And we love it.”

Businesses who partner with SourcePoint strengthen the community while building a culture of teamwork, cooperation, and service within their organization. Staff members who commit to delivering meals work together to share the responsibility and provide a crucial link between their company and less visible neighbors.

Every Friday, an Arbors team member picks up coolers and paperwork at a drop-off site in Delaware. They arrive at 11 a.m. and spend the next hour or more providing hot meals, a safety check, and a friendly face to residents of a senior housing complex, with a few other stops in the surrounding neighborhood. As they get to know each other, the residents learn their volunteers are from Arbors, which builds a positive reputation for the company. “There is a connection,” Tracey said. “We form relationships and people trust us.”

Meal delivery is the perfect fit for an organization looking to provide their employees the opportunity to go out into the community and make a direct impact. Employees can rotate delivering individually or serve in pairs. SourcePoint’s Meals on Wheels program delivers hot lunches Monday through Friday, and provides supplemental frozen or shelf-stable meals in advance of weekends and holidays. Volunteers start their routes at the Cheshire Road facility or at drop-off sites around Delaware County.

“We form relationships and people trust us.”

Mileage reimbursement is available to volunteer drivers.

All prospective volunteers are fingerprinted and attend training sessions, both of which SourcePoint staff can host at business sites.

Successful businesses, such as Arbors at Delaware, recognize the importance of building robust communities through volunteerism. Participation in Meals on Wheels promotes health, independence, dignity, and the well-being of senior neighbors while enhancing quality of life for the entire community. The program also reduces county health care costs and delays the need for nursing home care. Family members of Meals on Wheels recipients are able to work during the day with less worry, knowing someone trustworthy is checking on their loved one.

Every community has “invisible” neighbors—homebound seniors living behind closed doors, many of whom face the dual challenge of isolation and food insecurity. Local businesses, community groups, churches, and civic organizations can work jointly with SourcePoint to deliver nutrition and hope to our homebound neighbors. “You get to know them,” said Lisa. “And…it’s nice to get out of the office.”

For more information on volunteering for Meals on Wheels, contact Jill Smith, volunteer recruiter, at 740-203-2368 or [email protected]. This story was also published in the Winter 2020 issue of My Communicator.

Pictured above are Lisa, Kim, and Tracey with Arbors of Delaware.

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