BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
Officials in charge of Charlevoix County’s Home Delivered Meal program for seniors are looking for more volunteers to act as delivery drivers in Boyne City and East Jordan.
The Charlevoix County Commission on Aging says, while there is no shortage of drivers for this important program, they are hoping for more help so that does not occur.
“We have approximately 60 home-delivered meal customers who receive meals daily—Monday through Friday,” said Charlevoix County Commission On Aging Assistant Director Sheri Shepard. “We’re looking for friendly, dependable, courteous drivers and, actually, we have them go through a background check so we know our seniors will be safe.”
According to COA officials, the Charlevoix County Commission on Aging Home Delivered Meal program is very similar to the Meals on Wheels services in other counties.
The difference being the Home Delivered Meals program in Charlevoix County is funded through the Senior Millage primarily. Meals on Wheels is a nonprofit organization on run by a nonprofit.
“Our Home Delivered Meal program needs community members to help in hot and frozen meal delivery to those in our aging community, aged 60 years and above, who are home bound,” said Amy Wieland, Executive Director of the Charlevoix County Commission on Aging. “We need to meet certain requirements, like having meals delivered within two hours of them being cooked, so the times we need volunteers to help is between 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.”
Wieland said they deliver to Charlevoix County all the way to its borders.
“We do compensate our volunteer drivers by paying the federal mileage reimbursement but we also know that money is not the motivating factor for community members to volunteer,” she said. “It’s about feeling like they are making a difference locally.”
Wieland added, “For many home bound seniors, this is the only warm meal they receive all day … and the only human contact, so it becomes more than just a meal delivery.”
Volunteers can volunteer to be available once a week or up to five days a week depending on their availability and they may only be needed periodically to back up when other drivers are not available.
For more information about the program, and to volunteer, call Shepard at (231) 237-0103.