When the COVID-19 pandemic began, seniors in the Salem-Keizer area faced new hurdles to access healthy, nutritious food. Meals on Wheels quickly became a key partner in addressing these evolving needs. Seniors reached out to Meals on Wheels in unprecedented numbers, with new client sign-ups coming in at four times the regular rate.

But how were we going to meet this increasing need? When Marion Polk Food Share put out a call for volunteer drivers, the response was unimaginable. More than 150 people volunteered to become new drivers within just a few weeks — a number that represents more new drivers than the Food Share trains in a year. The volunteer team quickly adapted their training program. They modified the dining room at Center 50+ to allow for social distancing and began holding daily training in groups of 10 or fewer.

Drivers have also updated their delivery protocol. New safety measures and social distancing techniques were put in place. Drivers are now knocking on doors, making visual contact, and then leaving meals outside. Thanks to these measures and to generous friends like you who give to help, Meals on Wheels is now safely delivering to over 600 seniors and adults with disabilities each day.


Read This Edition of The Harvester Again!