During a typical month, Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) delivers approximately 50,000 meals to more than 2,000 older adults aged 60 to 100+ years in their homes as part of the Meals on Wheels program. These individuals are our loved-ones, parents, grandparents, veterans and neighbors. The program provides hot and cold nutritional meals on a daily basis to these individuals as some may struggle to prepare meals for themselves, or because of physical limitations or financial difficulties.
However, these are not typical times. But despite the pandemic that surrounds us, MVES continues to serve home delivered meals to consumers, and the number of those needing meals delivered is increasing daily.
“Along with daily meals, we have been delivering extra shelf-stable meals to our consumers and are initiating other methods to assist meal delivery personnel and provide the best services to our consumers,” says Angie Fitzgerald, MVES Director of Nutrition.
One of those methods is delivering a weeks’ worth of frozen meals to the consumers to help with their nutritional needs at this trying time. “We began delivering frozen meals last Friday with deliveries continuing into the middle part of this week. These boxes of emergency frozen meals will provide our consumers an option to use in the event their regular daily meals are interrupted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Fitzgerald.
One hundred thirty volunteers delivered 10,000 frozen meals across the MVES’ 11 community service area. Those volunteers included MVES staff, Council on Aging partners, community officials, and other members of the community.
Those individuals who had the opportunity to help deliver these packets reported how thankful the consumers were by stating words of appreciation such as “Thank you and stay safe out there” and “God bless you for what you are doing.”
MVES’ Nutrition Department created manageable and realistic delivery routes for the volunteers as they met in MVES’ parking lot to help unload Lindley Food Service’s truck and then load up their cars for delivery.
“I want to thank all the volunteers who helped deliver the frozen meal packs. We got a great response to our call for volunteers. It was a great team effort,” says Dan O’Leary, CEO of MVES.