Tips, Tricks & Trends

Need an Excuse to Drive Your Car? Volunteer for Meals on Wheels

Many of us have endured weeks of stay-at-home orders to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We’ve kept our cars parked or performed routine car care in the driveway, maybe even made car washing a family activity once or twice. Truth be told, virtual road trips are no comparison for truly being behind the wheel. If you are looking for an excuse to drive your car again, volunteering for Meals on Wheels is a great opportunity. You get to drive a little while also doing a bit of good in your community.

21 April 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Ravensburg: Stella Dutschke, an employee of the German Red Cross (DRK) in Ravensburg, gets a hot meal out of the thermo box to take it to a senior citizen. The employee, who is completing a voluntary social year with the DRK, has more than 20 meals on wheels. (to dpa: “Eating on wheels makes everyday life easier, even during corona time”) Photo: Felix Kästle/dpa (Photo by Felix Kästle/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Need an Excuse to Drive Your Car? Volunteer for Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a national organization that operates and depends on a volunteer network to pack and deliver meals to senior citizens and the homebound. The meals offer nutrition support and typically a moment of social interaction.

Prior to coronavirus, many Meals on Wheels volunteers were older, finding themselves in “high-risk” categories and needed to pause their volunteering. This put increased pressure on the organization to screen and train new volunteers to fill the gap.

AARP and Major League Baseball step up to the plate with donations

The services that Meal on Wheels provides to ensure the aging are cared for within our society is a significant one. Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association gave $500,000 to Meals on Wheels America. AARP announced a $250,000 contribution to Meals on Wheels America to help provide in-home meals to the most at-risk population. While AARP and Major League Baseball have made significant contributions to keep the organization running, volunteers are still greatly needed.

New procedures make home meal delivery safer for all

21 April 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Ravensburg: Stella Dutschke, an employee of the German Red Cross (DRK) in Ravensburg, holds a hot meal in a thermo-box in her hands to hand it over to the pensioner Paul Birk on the terrace. The employee, who is completing a voluntary social year with the DRK, has more than 20 meals on wheels. (to dpa: “Eating on wheels makes everyday life easier, even during the Corona period”) Photo: Felix Kästle/dpa (Photo by Felix Kästle/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Since the onset of coronavirus (COVID-19), the procedures of home meal delivery have changed significantly. Interaction is limited to protect both drivers and the homes they deliver to. Normal delivery would mean that a driver would ring the doorbell and take the meals inside.

New procedures require that the driver wear gloves and place the meal in a plastic bag. The bag is left on the doorstep, you knock and then back away a bit so you’re protecting yourself and protecting the client.

This makes a fulfilling way to help the community and provide an outlet for those missing the drive to work or other outings behind the wheel. These moments of connection are good for filling our hearts and giving us a feel-good reason to fill up our gas tanks again. With fuel prices being so low that’s another thing to feel good about when filling up.

Subaru Share the Love

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, and in keeping with its philosophy of supporting local communities, Subaru of America donated 50 new Subaru Outback vehicles to Meals on Wheels America, to be distributed to select Meals on Wheels programs for the delivery of nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to seniors across 39 states.

Since 2008, Meals on Wheels America has partnered with Subaru to participate in its annual Share the Love Event. For every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased during the promotion, Subaru donates $250 to the customer’s choice of participating charities, including Meals on Wheels. In communities across the country, local Meals on Wheels programs and Subaru retailers come together to volunteer and raise awareness about seniors struggling with isolation and hunger.